Green Tips for Snow & Ice Removal

1. Get out there and shovel, or pay a neighborhood kid to do it! It’s the greenest and most effective way to remove snow. Using an ergonomic shovel, shovel early and often before it builds up and ices over.

2.  Sand does not melt snow, but it is a natural way to provide traction. Use sparingly to avoid clogging sewers.

3. Use an ice breaker or hoe to break up ice. If you must use ice melt, avoid sodium chloride (rock salt).

Salt will melt the ice but……it’s not so eco-friendly.

  • Salt can leach heavy metals which can end up in our water supplies
  • Salt can hurt our pets if it gets lodged in their paws
  • Salt residue prevents plants from absorbing moisture and nutrients. Salt kills our flowers and grass.
  • Salt is corrosive and can damage cars, leading to reduced sustainability of vehicles.
  • It will also damage bridges and any other concrete surfaces it comes in contact with.
  • Salt run off  from sidewalks and streets can increase salinity in local bodies of water, causing long-term damage.

Don’t use ash and kitty litter

  • They don’t melt the ice. They do provide traction only on the surface of the snow.
  • They can adversely affect vegetation and get into waterways.
  • Can be messy once spring hits.


  1. Use an ergonomic shovel to protect your back from injury.
  2. Use an ice breaker and some muscle to chop up the ice.
  3. Shovel more and use sand less.  Get out there and shovel early and often. Clear away as much snow and ice as possible and the need for anything additional will diminish.
  4. Use sand if traction is all that is needed.  Use sparingly because it can clog up sewers and lower air quality in areas that use a lot of it. It can also ruin hardwood floors if tracked inside.
  5. Use an eco-friendly ice melt product when needed-but use sparingly.  When choosing anenvironmentally friendly ice melt, take the time to read the ingredient list.  Make sure all the ingredients are safe for you, your kids, your pets and the environment.

*Ingredient info: Magnesium chloride is salt, a safer and less corrosive salt than the more common sodium chloride, but still salt.