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When winter storms blanket Canada’s sidewalks and roads with snow, we turn to one thing: salt. There’s been plenty a time when people and cities have run out of the magical stuff–we’re looking at you Vancouver–, and one Quebec town has figured out another way to combat icy roads.

The town of Cowansville, Que., is creating an interesting concoction by mixing in a little bit of beet juice directly onto road salt. Yes, beet juice is being used to reduce its ecological footprint.

According to CBC News, the sticky mixture keeps salt on the roads and it has even helped rock salt melt ice below its –9 C limit in one case in the U.S.  How cool is that? The project cost about $20,000 to install the equipment and Cowansville estimates that 30 per cent less salt will be used this year compared to the last, according to the CBC.

So, will other cities hop on the beet train? The village of Matagami and the City of Laval have already been using beet juice to clear roads while Toronto and Halifax are looking into it.

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