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Electric Vehicle Registration Fees May Skyrocket

Do you drive an electric or hybrid vehicle? Do you breathe the air along the Wasatch Front?

If either of those are true, we encourage you to pay attention to the “Transportation Governance Amendments Bill (SB0136)” going through the state legislature.

It is rapidly making its way through the session and, as of February 13, will be heard by the full Senate in the coming days, followed by the House of Representatives.

Overall, we support the bill because of the many good things it would do for funding public transit and road improvements.  You can read more via the Salt Lake Tribune.

However, the bill also proposes significant increases in the annual vehicle registration fees for all-electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, which are troubling.

We encourage you to learn about the bill and contact your elected officials if you’re concerned about the high fees proposed on electric vehicles– a stymie to clearing the air– even though the bill offers other positive changes.

For an all-electric vehicle, your annual registration fee would increase from $44 to $194.

For a hybrid, the fee would jump from $44 to $65. For all other vehicles, the fees remain at $44.

It is only electric vehicles that are being targeted for annual increases. Read more

Upcoming Summit at Weber State Focuses on the Future of Sustainability

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It’s almost spring and that means the return of one of our favorite annual events– the Intermountain Sustainability Summit held at Weber State University from February 28 – March 2! The Summit brings together a wide range of professionals from business, government, non-profits, and education to discuss and envision a sustainable future for our environment, communities, and economy.

Now in its ninth year, the Summit is geared toward engaging students, sustainability practitioners, and the general public in topics such as clean energy infrastructure, green buildings, urban water, and other sustainability topics.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn something new, mix and mingle with other sustainability folk, and come away inspired by the many goings-on in Utah and beyond.

On Wednesday evening, February 28, the summit officially kicks off with a free musical performance from the Crossroads Project, a collaboration of the Fry Street Quartet with climate physicist Dr. Robert Davies.

The performance weaves art and science together through music, prose, and stunning visual imagery — photographs by renowned environmental photographer Garth Lenz and paintings by Rebecca Allan and the quartet’s commission of Rising Tide by American composer Laura Kaminsky.

The evening performance is free and open to all who are 8 years old or older.

We’re also very excited about the rest of the Summit including this year’s keynote speaker, Naomi Oreskes, who will take the stage on the Summit’s main day, March 1.

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The 2018 Clear the Air Challenge is Here!

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It’s February which means it’s time for the Ninth Annual Clear the Air Challenge! If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to get signed up and start identifying how you can drive less and drive smarter to save pollution. Read more

Salt Lake County Seeking Local Farmers to Develop Agricultural Land

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Do you know a local farmer or organization that is seeking agricultural land to develop?

As part of Salt Lake County’s vision to create more opportunities for locally produced food, the Open Space and Urban Farming programs are seeking local farmers to manage land at Wheadon Park and Big Cottonwood Regional Park. The three separate sites have a total of 20.3 farmable acres.

The County is soliciting proposals from qualified firms “Proposer / Contractor” to provide management and operation of commercial farming enterprise at Big Cottonwood Regional Park (7 acres) and at two parcels at Wheadon Park (3.4 and 9.9 acres).

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Round Three of Funding for Sustainable Farming Now Open

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 22, 2018

Salt Lake City and Urban Food Connections Announce Round Three of Funding for Local Food Microgrant Program

 

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BUG Farms, a recipient of the first funding round from the Local Food Microgrant Program.

Applications are now open for local commercial farmers to seek assistance in expanding their operation and production of more organically-grown fruits and vegetables.

Salt Lake City launched the Local Food Microgrant Program in February 2017 in partnership with Urban Food Connections of Utah, the non-profit organization that runs the Downtown Farmers Market, Rio Grande Winter Market and Tuesday Harvest Market. The Salt Lake City Council, on the recommendation of the Administration and its Sustainability Department, in 2016 set apart $85,000 to initially fund the program.

The program offers funding to local farmers who want to expand their operations with sustainability in mind. The grants help farmers access technology, education, tools and equipment to grow more sustainable produce.

“Our goal is to increase the amount of healthy, locally-grown, organic food available in Salt Lake City,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “By providing small grants to farmers, we are also supporting local, ecologically sustainable agriculture and the City’s economy.”

The third funding round is now open and will award $15,000. The microgrant program has so far generated substantial interest among small-scale commercial farmers. Read more

Help Clear the Air! Sign up for the February Challenge

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Transportation emissions are responsible for nearly 50% of the pollutants that make up our poor air quality. These pollutants become a serious concern during the winter months when normal atmospheric conditions (cool air above, warm air below) become inverted. This allows the air quality in the valley to become filled with particles that can quickly become unhealthy.

While there is much work being done to reduce those emissions (better transit, cleaner vehicles, more active transportation), the fact is– we can and should all help. We can each be a #CleanAirChampion.

There are many ways to participate! They all help the air and give you points in the Challenge:

  • Ride the bus or train
  • Bike or walk to work
  • Link your errands together when you are driving (aka “trip chain”)
  • Skip the trip by working from home or saving that errand for later

It all adds up!

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The Utah Division of Air Quality estimates that if every driver along the Wasatch Front were to give up driving for just one day per week, it would keep 6,500 tons of emissions (or 85 times the weight of the International Space Station) out of our airshed.

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What’s the Deal with Plastic Bags?

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As you may have seen in the newsSalt Lake City is no longer able to accept plastic bags and plastic film in the blue curbside recycling containers.

So what should you do?

The short answer is –> Opt for REUSABLE bags whenever possible.

Remember the 3 R’s of waste management: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE.

  1. Reduce the amount of single-use plastic you consume by using reusable bags.
  2. Reuse the bags you do have.
  3. Take your plastic bags for recycling back to the store. Many retailers have dedicated recycling receptacles for plastic film– which can be more effectively recycled when it’s not mixed with other items. Click here for a directory. (Don’t see your local retailer on the list? Ask them to join!)

Read on for other FAQ’s.

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