Introduction:Alternatives to road salt must be looked at in light of the ecological damage that excess road salt can cause. The dyes and chemicals in the salt make it a potential pollutant by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.
Many concerned environmentalists consider the damage already seen from road salt seeping into water and soil. Humans, animals and vegetation are at risk unless we all take part in alternatives to de-icing salt on our roads and walkways.
Sand is a safe alternative to salt de-icers as it does not contain harmful chemicals and cleans up fairly easy. It also absorbs sunlight which helps the ice and snow melt quicker. Brick sand is the best choice and found at most building supply stores.
Ashes from non-metal sources such as wood burners and fireplaces are good for traction and also absorb sunlight. Do use caution around food gardens since there may be traces of heavy metal in some ashes.
Plain, unscented kitty litter is another option for salt. Of course it may cost a little more but is less harmful and provides good traction.
Ecotraction is made from volcanic ash and contains no salt, dyes or chemicals. The ash is safe for the surfaces driven or walked on and actually releases nurturing minerals back into the soil.
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You can reduce salt use and consider a less toxic salt. Check the label if you must buy salt and choose calcium chloride over sodium chloride. Buy early to avoid less selection when you most need a de-icer. Avoid using widshield spray on de-icers as they also pollute the environment.
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