Simple Steps to Greener Living

Deicers that use magnesium chloride have a significantly lower toxicity level than sodium chloride (rock salt) - in fact, magnesium chloride falls even lower on the toxicity chart than baking soda, making it much safer to keep around the house!

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November 17, 2009

Naughty or Nice DeIcer?

Winter makes for slippery roads;
We humans melt the ice.
But deicers using salt and sand
Are naughty to Earth, not nice!

Too much salt's not good for anyone and the same is true for Mother Earth. The sodium chloride used to deice roads in winter corrodes metal, threatens plants and crops, and can slowly poison fish and other aquatic creatures. Sand is also used to improve traction on icy surfaces, but it can clog sewers and storm drains and reduce air quality as it gets brushed off of people's tires. To make your sidewalk less slippery this winter, consider using the following eco-friendly deicers instead:

  • Deicers are now being made naturally. In lieu of straight-up deicing rock salt, try a mixture of salt and beet juice. Commercially this mixture is called Geomelt, but mixing up a DIY batch shouldn't be too tough. Your sidewalk may temporarily be stained brown, but it's a small price to pay for protecting the environment.
  • Keep it Green is an eco-friendly snow and ice melting product made of potassium acetate and CMA (calcium magnesium acetate). The product also includes nutrients that help fertilize the earth later!
  • Natural Alternative® Ice Melt has a long shelf life and does not contain sodium or calcium chloride. It will melt ice that is as low as -12 degrees Fahrenheit and won't leave behind any residue.

Japan has created an environmentally friendly road deicer made from scallop shells.

Use these recipes to create your own green window deicer this winter.


Our greencookingpots are made of enameled cast iron and are free of any chemicals.


The natural abrasives in these scrubbing cloths make for a resilient kitchen utility.


Use again and again. Giant 20" x 28" all cotton dish towel, screenprinted with water-based, non-toxic inks.

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