Salt has been popular for almost 50 years to remove ice. It is cheap, but highly corrosive and can contaminate our water. Here are a few alternatives.
Shovel sooner than later- Don't put it off. The less time the snow has to bond to your sidewalk or drive the less chance it will turn into ice.
Sand/Bird Seed- It will give you good traction, but will not get rid of the ice. It can easily be swept into the grass come spring.
Good old manual labor- Use an ice chopper. This works great for thicker ice.
Alfalfa Meal- Works by not only providing good traction, but also will melt the ice. Safe for the environment.
Magic Salt- Magic Salt is rock salt treated with magnesium chloride and a sugar byproduct. It has received the EPA Design for the Environment label, which recognizes that the product is considered to be safe for the environment. It's the only de-icer to get the approval. It is more expensive, but 70% less corrosive than rock salt.
Ice-Clear- Ice-Clear is a liquid that you spray right on the pavement and is best used before the storm. It is made of a corn extract so the sugar reacts with the pavement to form a bond that prevents ice from sticking to the surface. Similar technology is used to de-ice airplane wings. 100% organic.
Are there any eco-friendly alternatives you recommend? I would love to hear about them. Thankfully we have been diligent about snow removal this winter over here so ice has been minimal.