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Concerned about Air Quality? Take Advantage of Clean Transportation Options

It’s only mid-December but we’ve already had a few inversions– and the dirty air they trap– this season.

Luckily this week’s winter storm has cleared out the inversion and the worst of the poor air, but it’s a reminder of why it’s all the more important to be mindful of how we can each reduce our contribution to the muck.

Because transportation accounts for 48% of the air pollution we see on any given wintertime inversion day, choosing cleaner ways to get around is one of the most impactful steps we as individuals can take

With that in mind, we’d like to share a couple of exciting options that are available right now to promote more sustainable travel.  

Hive Pass Discounts

Salt Lake City residents can apply for the HIVE pass. The Salt Lake City program, in partnership with UTA, offers easier access to mass transit by reducing the cost of the monthly adult pass by 50%.

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Why Do We Check Recycling Cans?

 

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Hi! One of SLC’s Recycling Education Team members checking a container.

You may have seen a recent story in the Salt Lake Tribune that follows SLCgreen’s Recycling Education Team on a visit around our neighborhoods checking recycling containers. The piece does a good job of giving an overview of the purpose of our Education Team, but we’d like to give you some additional context.

The Education Team works in Salt Lake City’s Waste & Recycling Division and is comprised of five dedicated and passionate employees whose sole job it is to educate the public and improve recycling behavior. We never fine anyone, and our team works hard to be customer-service oriented, friendly, and professional.

The team is out and about each week, across the city, checking cans, leaving materials, and having conversations with people about recycling. They’re also some of the faces you see at community events, festivals, markets, and classrooms across SLC.

Their work is a critical part of our effort to make sure we are recycling as much as possible in the Salt Lake City community– and that we’re “recycling right.” Read more

Have you Downloaded the Air Quality App?

deq app

SLCgreen is helping the Utah Division of Air Quality to remind residents to download the app, UtahAir. The updated app will now send action alerts and three-day forecasts based on current conditions to help people plan the best times to exercise outdoors or drive. The app, for both Android and iOS users, can be downloaded at air.utah.gov.

During the winter, when high pressure rolls in, pollution builds up.

Pollution is a complex airborne mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets called particulate matter. The particulate matter is classified as fine particles, PM2.5, or coarse particles, PM10. These tiny particles can obscure our view of the mountains and buildings on bad days.

PM2.5 particles are so small and light, they stay in the air longer than larger heavier particles. This increases the chances of humans and animals inhaling them into their bodies. Particles that are smaller than PM2.5 are thirty times smaller than a human hair and are able to bypass the filtering system in our nose and throat into the lungs. Read more

‘Tis the Season for Green Holiday Ideas

brown pinecone on white rectangular board

It’s post-Thanksgiving so we know you’ve got gift-giving on your mind.

Well, we’re here to help with ideas for keeping the joy, with a bit more of the earth-friendly ethic.

Gifts Use recycled wrapping paper! Get creative and make your own with old maps, newspaper, photographs, or paper bags. Here are some more fun ideas!

 

Give experiences instead of material items.  Purchase tickets to visit a museum, garden, or aviary. Or buy your loved one a day on the slopes, a yoga class, or a cooking lesson.  Spa gift certificates or tickets to the ballet or a sporting event are always hits. Or consider donating to an organization on behalf of someone. Make gifts or buy gifts made of recycled materials. If you are going to buy gifts, support local businesses including our e2 businesses which are both local and green!

 

Food Make sustainable food choices like buying from local growers.  Stock up on holiday staples at this weekend’s Winter Market Saturdays from 10:00am-2:00pm at the Rio Grande Train Depot.

Incorporate vegan dishes into your holiday traditions. Be creative with leftovers and reduce food waste. Also, use reusable tableware and be sure to recycle glass and cans.

Donate what you don’t use. By donating our unwanted food, it diverts the food from landfills and puts food on the table for families in need.

 

 

 

Decorations  Make some fun simple decorations by stitching or gluing felt together to make festive ornaments.

Here are 45 budget and kid-friendly holiday crafts that are made out of common household items and they help divert waste from our landfills.

After the holidays, if you have a tree, please put it in the brown compost can (Make sure to cut it up so it fits in the bin and remove any tinsel and non-organic decorations).

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Want more ideas? Check out our 2017 Green Holiday Guide

Goal: Reduce food waste this holiday season

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, bringing the friend and family food fest with it! While we prepare the feast and give thanks for the plentiful food we have, it is important to consider the amount of food that goes to waste this holiday season.

Food is one of the most important areas of sustainability in our daily lives and it is often overlooked! Reducing food waste is important for everyone because it saves both money and resources.

Did you know that the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 35 percent of turkey meat cooked at Thanksgiving gets wasted?

That’s a lot of wasted resources!

When we reduce food waste we save:

  • The resources and water used to grow crops and raise animals
  • Manufacturing and energy resources
  • Transportation resources and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Money by buying less and throwing away less
  • Disposal costs and emissions

That last one is significant– food sent to landfills is a powerful source of methane. A whopping 40 percent of food meant for eating is thrown away.

All of this rotting food produces a lot of greenhouse gases. In fact if food waste could be represented as its own country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter, behind China and the U.S.

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It’s Meatless Monday: Start Your Week on a “Lighter” Foot

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The holidays are approaching and it is a great time to take stock of our health and evaluate our eating habits— for the good of our bodies and the planet. The latter benefit is something we at SLCgreen feel passionately about.**

That’s why we’re excited to share the Meatless Monday phenomenon with you. The premise is simple: you don’t have to go fully vegan or vegetarian to make a difference. You can realize a significant health and environmental benefit just by skipping animal products one day a week!

We like to think of “Meatless Monday” as an addition, not a subtraction. Eating more whole grains, beans and lentils and vegetables on your meatless day tends to be less expensive and offers more health benefits than eating meat and dairy.

When we chose to participate in a meat-free day it is an easy way to transition to healthier eating habits one day at a time. There have been numerous studies that show that skipping meat one day a week can make a big impact on losing weight while reducing the chances of certain cancers, heart disease, and obesity.

Kids are leading the way!
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Join Us for Green Drinks November 13!

green drinksEcofriendly folks connect!

Do you care about sustainability? Are you looking to meet others who do as well? Are you interested in learning about local businesses that support the environment?

If the answer is YES, please join us for the annual e2 Business -sponsored Green Drinks event coming up on Tuesday, November 13! It’s free to attend.

The e2 business program is SLCgreen’s very own sustainability consulting and marketing program. The businesses that participate receive expert consultation and guidance in incorporating sustainable business practices that will save money and reduce their impact on the environment. It’s free for any business located in Salt Lake City limits. Our office then has the fun opportunity to promote and highlight the sustainable achievements of these businesses.

The SLC Chapter of Green Drinks International was founded in January of 2007 and is a fun, informal opportunity for anyone interested in sustainability to get together over drinks and talk “green.” Networking events occur several times per year. Everyone is welcome. Bring business cards! Read more