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Melt Ice and Snow in an Eco-Friendly Way

by Nikki Fotheringham

Salt does do a great job of melting ice and snow through the winter but its bad news for your pets, the environment and your garden. Pets get salt on their paws which causes cracking. Salt corrodes metal, damages concrete and wreaks havoc on your garden and lawn. With spring melt, all the accumulated salt ends up in your waterways where the local wildlife may not survive the seasoning. Here are some environmentally friendly ice-melt alternatives that are kind to pets and to the environment.

Pickle Brine

The brine from pickling helps to melt ice and snow. National Geographic claims it is better for the environment than salt, as it prevents ice from sticking to the road which makes it easier to remove. Pickle brine use means that 4 to 29 percent less chlorine is added to our waterways.

You can make your own brine recipe by mixing 2 lbs. of salt per gallon of water. Add a glass of sugar beet juice to get the ultimate de-icer.


This is a natural deicer and while it won’t harm your pets, corrode your metal or pit your concrete, it can be really bad news for your plants so avoid using it near the garden.

Alfalfa Meal

This is a super effective natural green ice melting miracle! It’s 100% natural and is usually used as a fertilizer. It’s grainy so it will provide traction and is extremely effective when used in moderation.

Sugar Beet Juice

The juice from sugar beets lowers the melting point of ice and snow which helps to clear your driveway. It’s even been used to melt ice and snow on municipal roads in some areas. It’s safe for animals, people, metals, concrete and plants.

You can make your de-icer recipe by mixing 2 lbs. of salt per gallon of water. Add a glass of sugar beet juice to get the ultimate de-icer.

Sand, Ash from the Fireplace or Coffee Grinds

Sprinkle these over your icy surfaces to provide traction and the darker colors will absorb more heat and help to melt snow and ice.

Don’t underestimate the importance of shoveling. A good shovel will clear your drive while giving you a wicked workout and it’s the most natural, environmentally-friendly and green way to get rid of your icy bits this winter.

White Vinegar and Water Window Deicer Recipe

Mix 3 cups white vinegar with 1 cup lukewarm water in a spray bottle and spray in icy windows.

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