We all know we have to keep our sidewalks and driveways clear of snow and Ice and salt is the most commonly used product,, but it is hard on the environment , your plants, grass, concrete, masonry.and our pets paws.
Here are a few alternatives.
- Urea is the second most common de-icer besides salt. It is a liquid, making it easy to apply to pathways, and more convenient to clean up. However, its state also means it can cause more damage to surrounding plants. It’s also less convenient to purchase.
- Alfalfa meal is a less popular solution. Like urea, it is a natural fertilizer; however it contains less nitrogen so it’s a bit less damaging. It’s a very effective de-icer, and due to its dry and grainy nature, it provides additional traction to those walking and driving on it. Unfortunately it is more difficult to purchase.
- Sugar beet juice is becoming a more popular method for de-icing, being adopted by many municipalities for winter road care, like Toronto and Niagara Region. The juice from sugar beets lowers the freezing point of water, and helps with de-icing. It is colorless, odorless, and harmless. However, it’s more expensive than its salty counterpart and less convenient to purchase.