With the rain we had yesterday combined with the snow we are getting and what's forecasted for later in the week, (freezing temps) you might be finding yourself slipping and sliding both on your sidewalks and driveways this weekend. If you are like me and have pets you generally try not to use salt to de-ice, as it can dry out and crack their paw pads, not to mention what it can do to your driveway... Instead, you look for some alternatives to salt. I've got 7 different options for you to help de-ice, and keep you upright this winter.

1. Sand - believe it or not, will absorb sunlight, warming the sediment, which in turn helps to melt and break up the ice that has formed. Not only does it do that, but it also helps you while you are walking or driving as it increases traction, and keeps you standing.

2. Vinegar - probably not a large area solution, but vinegar is an acid and it will eat away at the ice. Another downside to the vinegar approach, it might take multiple treatments according to MrPavement.com 

3. Kitty Litter - this won't melt anything, but it will increase the amount of traction you'll get. This might be a quick fix if you can't find any of the other alternatives on this list.

4. Coffee Grinds - like sand the sun will warm the grounds, causing some melting to the ice. The coffee grinds will also add some traction, and if you like coffee you get the added bonus of making another pot, as you can never be too sure when you are going to need some grinds in a pinch.

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--------more scientific solutions to NOT using traditional salt/rock salt----------

5. Sugar Beet Juice - you've heard of this most likely on the news. It's an alternative that some states and municipalities have used to de-ice roads and highways.

6. Alfalfa Meal - like the sugar beet juice it's another alternative to melting ice and snow on roads in different states, according to MrPavement.com "alfalfa meal is usually used as a fertilizer, so it’s 100% natural"

7. Calcium Chloride - according to LiveStrong.com "Calcium chloride is a common substance used to preserve our food, melt ice on the road, and even dry concrete. While calcium chloride can be harmful if handled improperly, it is a generally safe substance."

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