Some states are switching to beet juice and beer to ‘salt’ icy roads, sidewalks

Most snowy places around the country throw salt on the roads to eliminate ice and improve road conditions. According to New Herald, experts fear all this road salt tossed onto sidewalks and scattered on highways, is having an alarming impact on the environment. Conscious of this fact, some cities are turning to less conventional materials to get the job done: beet juice, molasses, cheese brine, and beer. Researchers on the subject cite mounting evidence that the 20 million tons of sodium chloride crystals used each year is increasing the salinity of hundreds of lakes — particularly in the Midwest and Northeast. In the past 50 years, chloride concentrates in some of the sampled lakes have quadrupled, and in a few cases, even increased a hundredfold. If the problem is not corrected, they warn, the runoff could threaten freshwater ecosystems and put everything from frogs to microscopic zooplankton at risk. As the negative effects are…