With all of the snow and ice hitting many of my friends (but not us - all we have is cold, cold rain), I figured this little tip would be a good one to share:
Instead of treating your icy walk with salt, which can kill the grass, mix 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with 1/2 gallon of warm water and pour it over your steps and sidewalk. The dishwashing liquid helps prevent the ice from re-freezing. To make the ice melt faster, add a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol (or add beer, but really - who wants to waste beer?) to the mixture.
You can also use dishwashing liquid to make a home-made gel ice pack by pouring a small bottle of dishwashing liquid into a Ziploc bag (I would double-bag it) and putting it in the freezer. The dishwashing liquid does not freeze solid. Of course, it may be just as easy to go out and buy a gel ice pack.