We live in Calgary --- the heart of the chinook zone. All winter long our city is caught in an endless cycle of freeze - thaw - freeze - thaw - and freeze once again. This morning I noticed a huge patch of ice on the sidewalk in front of our house. I was scared someone might slip on the ice but we didn't have any gravel or ice melt.
Then I noticed the floor of our garage was filthy. It was covered in road salt and gravel from the bottom of our vehicles. Hmmm. Hadn't the City spread that stuff on the roads to make them less slippery? Wouldn't it work just as well on my icy sidewalk?
I snatched up my broom and a dustpan, and in three minutes flat our sidewalk was covered in a nice layer of gravel. Best of all, it didn't cost us a penny!
It was a simple solution that worked for me.