Nearly 20 million tons, or one million truckloads worth, of salt is deposited on America’s roadways each winter. This road salt raises salinity and reduces oxygen levels in local water, and it may also contain toxic metals like mercury or arsenic. Road salt can also dehydrate nearby vegetation and endanger animals that accidentally ingest it or step on its jagged granules. For your own steps and sidewalks, choose a non-hazardous ice-melt instead.
1) Perfectly Natural Solutions Eco Ice Melter (about $18/11lb.) is made with potassium, sodium and traction aid and is colored green lest you forget it’s made of natural ingredients that won’t harm wildlife, soil, children, pets or concrete.kmart.com
2) Packaged in a recyclable handled shaker, the plant-based and phosphate-free Ice Melt from Earth Friendly Products ($12/6.5lb.) is a cruelty-free solution to slippery paths that will stop ice from forming.ecos.com
3) Made from hydrothermal volcanic minerals, EcoTraction ($14.95/10lb.), available at Amazon, Home Depot and Whole Foods, delivers instant grip and traction. One cup of these salt-, chloride-, chemical- and dye-free granules will cover an average 144 square-foot parking space.
4) Happy Paws Liquid Ice Melt ($13.95/gallon), available from Amazon, is an animal-safe anti-icer and de-icer that is harmless if accidentally ingested by your pet. It’s biodegradable, chloride- and salt-free and applications are long-lasting.