By Sarah Wroblewski

BOSTON (CBS) – In New England, we get our fair share of snowstorms to dig out and this winter has us shoveling for hours quite a bit. So far, Boston has picked up 32.7 inches of snow, which is just slightly above normal. It’s been active recently and it feels like if we aren’t digging out of a snowstorm, we’re likely hacking away at ice afterwards.

What if there was a way to save all that time and energy?

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“When snow comes, there is a checklist that everybody has. You know, spending 15 minutes to do this can easily get on your list. It’s just like applying sunscreen.” said Mitch Vestal, the president of Advanced Organics.

Vestal isn’t talking about sunshine, but snowstorms, and how to stop the ice under the snow before it even starts to stack up outside your home.

“If you see your local road crews out pretreating, you should be too,” Vestal says.

We’ve all noticed that before any big storm, road crews are pretreating the roads with a brine solution which is an anti-icer treatment.

Now, a similar liquid is available that any homeowner can use. No longer do you have to wait until the storm is over to throw down a de-icer that removes snow and ice that’s been allowed to bond.

Vestal explains how it works.

“An anti-icer is true to its name,” he said. “So you spray it down before snowfall, and it actually works from the bottom up, and it prevents ice from bonding to the surface.”

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It works similar to the spray you’d use in a pan to keep food from sticking. However, this product you spray on walkways, sidewalks or any surface to keep snow from sticking.

“So it really works just to keep ice from bonding to the surface. And because it’s a liquid, it stays where it’s sprayed,” Vestal states.

Which is great, because you don’t have to worry about it tracking rock salt into the house and ruining the floor, or getting stuck in your furry friends’ paws. Some ice melts can be dangerous to pets and even hazardous for the environment with negative effects on aquatic ecosystems. Salt can also change the way water mixes and lead to depletion of important nutrients in bodies of water.

Vestal explains the added benefits.

“Everybody understands the environmental risks posed by chloride salts, and the pet risk, and they see this as a viable alternative,” he told WBZ-TV.

Liquid solutions like this can incorporate multiple ingredients, so the final product lacks harsh chemicals and is environmentally kind, so there is no added worry to pets or the wash off into drains or waterways.

“This is not a safety product that kind of words,” says Vestal. “This is a high-performance product that is also safe.”

Products like this can be found at some local home improvement stores or online for about $20 a gallon.

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Keep in mind, they are most effective before an *ALL* snow event because a wintry mix or rain can easily wash the treatment away.

Sarah Wroblewski