Ashburn Students Make the Case for Salt Alternatives

Briar Woods High Schools students completed months-long research projects this week aimed at raising awareness about the impacts of using salt as a road deicer.

The students researched the impacts of excessive use of salt on the environment, as well as the use of other options. Salt taints the water supply, dehydrates vegetation, and can be lethal to pets, the students said. They created public service announcements in the form of cartoons, videos, websites and posters and presented their findings in class Monday.

“Although road salt is effective, it is not very environmentally friendly,” freshman Samyuktha “Sam” Sreeram said during her team’s presentation.

The students presented arguments for using alternatives such as beet molasses, cheese or pickle brine, or fireplace ashes. Some of these options are just as effective as salt and are less expensive. One team mentioned that Chicago saved $14,000 in one fiscal year by using beet molasses instead of salt.

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