Ice Melter Alternatives
I’m not writing about ice melters and de-icers because of my slide at a snowy intersection the other day (see my previous blog, “Winter Mishaps”). It’s a coincidence. I happened to read about rock salt and other ice melters in an environmental newsletter sent to me by greenlivingonline.com. There are good reasons for finding rock salt alternatives.
Rock Salt Prevents Slips, but is Toxic
In winter, icey porches, stairways, walkways and driveways cause slips, falls and skids. Sand and ash were once popular for increasing traction, but more recently rock salt has come into the picture. While it does melt ice, salt comes with many problems, such as corroding vehicles, cement, and pavement. Sadly it is also poisonous, causing cancer and other diseases for tongue happy pets–and heaven knows what it can do to children and wildlife, such as birds, squirrels, and rabbits.
Rock salt builds up and kills vegetation. It seeps into the groundwater. When your water supply is well water, as mine is, the importance of not poisoning the nearby land becomes quite apparent. And for those who prefer to minimize their toxic load on the environment, using rock salt will not be attractive.
An Alternative: Eco Traction
One of the options mentioned in the Green Living article is a product called Eco Traction. There are other traction products on the market, but this was the one I purchased this winter after mulling over packages and prices. The Green Living article’s reference to it caught my attention–did I actually make a good choice? I read up on Eco Traction again and learned that it is not only safe for pets and kids, it’s also beneficial for lawns and gardens!
My experience using Eco Traction has been quite positive. A very small amount sprinkled on the steps has gone a long way and definitely prevents slipping. I shovel and sweep regularly, but ice does form, and that’s when I sprinkle. If you’re really interested in this topic, I would suggest the article at greenlivingonline.com as it describes the pros and cons of common ingredients used in alternative products. And naturally, I would also be interested in hearing what you have to say.