Deice the Earth-Friendly Way With the winter months comes the possibility for snow and ice. Traditionally, we use salt to tackle ice on sidewalks and driveways. Salt is effective in melting the ice and prevents slipping, but it comes with a cost. When you use salt, it gathers in soil in concentrated forms and can be destructive to the environment. Salt has an adverse effect on plants by restricting them from properly absorbing water and nutrition. Salt is also known for leaching heavy metals in the soil, which can eventually make their way into water systems. While an occasional use of salt won’t harm much, avoiding it is the best eco-friendly option. If you’re looking for a salt alternative, use old coffee grounds. Most people have heard of coffee’s benefits in the garden, but when you’re in the dead of winter, what do you do with your used coffee grounds? Use them to prevent slipping! Keep a 5-gallon bucket in your garage and drop in your post-java grounds. When it snows, throw the grounds on your sidewalks and driveway to effectively prevent slipping. According to The Daily Green, beet juice is being used as an earth-friendly deicing option this winter season. Some U.S. cities, including Chicago, are planning to test out this environmentally safe alternative that can also be purchased under the brand name GEOMELT. This beet juice combination is said to be just as effective as chemical deicers but is safer for the environment. Your best option: simply shovel as early as possible. Most ice build-up is to due to the snow accumulating, melting a bit and refreezing again. The faster you can get the snow off your sidewalk and driveway, the better chance you have of little or no ice. It’s old fashion and requires the most work, but in the end you’ll have safe walkways without the use of salt or harmful deicing chemicals. And remember: Always keep in mind that everything placed on the ground could work its way to plants, waterways and your environment.