There are 33 stairs going up to my front door, and with two dogs and a ridiculous amount of snow outside, we've been looking for salt-free, chemical-free treatments for our walkways. Shoveling and sweeping only get you so far. Enter saw dust.
Our neighbors happen to be crazy wood workers. There's always a project going on in their shop. So instead of buying the ridiculously over-priced dog-friendly ice melt (although it works, when you have that much surface to cover it gets a little silly), we've been sprinkling saw dust and wood shavings on the fresh walkways instead.
They give us traction on our trek in and out of the house and have the added benefit of becoming "one with nature" when the temperatures are back on the rise. No, it doesn't melt ice but that doesn't much matter if you can walk on it! Although everyone doesn't have wood workers for neighbors, there are almost always listings for saw dust for free on Craigslist in most cities. Just do a search and see if you can find some near you!
Related: A Green Way to Beet the Ice