Icy walkways leading into games at the Calgary Flames’ Scotiabank Saddledome this NHL hockey season will be covered with award-winning EcoTraction, described by its manufacturer as an environmentally friendly alternative to ice melters such as road salt.
EcoTraction consists of highly absorbent green granules which immediately imbed into ice, causing a sandpaper-like safety layer. Compared to other products, less is required to cover the same surface area, resulting in less cost per square foot, manufacturer Earth Innovations says.
The company says that unlike road salt, chloride-free EcoTraction does not cause damage to infrastructure, and will not pollute water, infest soil, damage footwear, or harm animals. It is the only product of its kind in the world that can also be swept into lawns and gardens to benefit growth, its makers say.
The announcement follows several other sustainability initiatives by the NHL and its member teams. In 2011, the NHL announced that that year’s Stanley Cup final would be the first water-neutral series in NHL history.
The league pledged to track the total water used at the two host venues, Vancouver’s Rogers Arena and Boston’s TD Garden, including everything from rinks to faucets. The NHL said that it would replenish these through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation’s Water Restoration Certificates, restoring at least one million gallons of water to Oregon’s Deschutes River.
Also in 2011, the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks was one of the founder members of the Green Sports Alliance. The alliance aims to reduce sports’ impact on the environment. Teams work with the EPA, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Portland State University to identify and adopt environmental initiatives, and share information about ways to measure and reduce their environmental impact.
Picture credit: James Teterenko