2018 is here! Once again, it is time to take note of all the achievements we’ve made over the past year, with your help and the support of many other partners both in and outside of Salt Lake City government.
As we look back on 2017, we want to share with you what we have done, where we are now, and what our goals are as we look ahead.
We publish an annual report detailing our major accomplishments each year. You can read the highlights from 2017 below, or download the full report here.
Thank you to our many partners who’ve helped us along the way. And happy New Year from all of us at SLCgreen!
By Colin Green, SLCgreen Fall Intern
Can you remember a time when you lay on the ground under a cloudless night gazing up towards the heavens, making wishes on shooting stars? Have you ever done this within the city? Probably not, because of light pollution.
Humans have lived with dark starry skies for most of our history. This connection to the celestial bodies has helped guide the natural rhythms of our bodies, but recently, in tandem with rapid urbanization, dark skies are disappearing from our lives. Light pollution is taking overnight skies across the country, but it doesn’t have to.
Light pollution comes in a few different varieties that affect us and our environment differently. The first form is called SKYGLOW and it is what usually comes to mind when thinking about light pollution. This is the light that is projected towards the sky creating an illuminated dome in urban areas around the world (80% of World Population Lives under Skyglow).
Did you know? One wood fireplace emits the same amount of particulate pollution as 90 SUVs and one wood-burning stove pollutes as much as 3,000 natural gas furnaces.
This week’s Clean Air Champion tip is about wood burning.
Even though burning wood is festive at this time of year, it’s a significant polluter (estimated to contribute 5-26% of total pollution on a winter day, according to a presentation from Dr. Kelly Kerry to UCAIR).
Before you burn, make sure to check to see if it’s a no burn day.
The Salt Lake County Health Department prohibits burning solid fuel in fireplaces or wood burning stoves and bans outdoor fires (including bonfires, patio pits, and charcoal grill fires) on days that the State of Utah designates as either mandatory or voluntary air action (no burn) days.
For the week of Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, your garbage, recycling, and compost collection day is one day later. This applies citywide in Salt Lake City.
For more information, visit: www.slcgreen.com/curbside-holiday-schedule
As the holiday season wraps up, you may be wondering what to do with your Christmas tree when the decorations are ready to come down. Please consider not burning your tree. Burning anything during the winter is bad for our air quality (Burning during “air action” days is also against State regulation and violates Salt Lake County Health Department rules).
Residents may dispose of trees in two ways. For immediate disposal, Salt Lake City asks residents to cut their trees up into a few small pieces and place in their brown compost containers. Ornaments and lights must be removed. “Flocked” trees are not accepted in the brown containers.
“Please do not stuff your tree in the cart,” said Lance Allen Director of the Waste and Recycling Division. “This makes it extremely difficult or impossible for our operators to remove your tree. Instead, please cut your tree into four foot or smaller pieces.”
Alternatively, residents may place whole trees on their curb for disposal in January. Exact pickup depends on demand and will occur in mid-to late-January. Residents may call 801-535-6999 for more information.
This Tuesday, local business Packsize International unveiled its new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at its Salt Lake City campus.
The site now hosts 52 total EV charging ports, including two fast-charge stations, making it the largest charging installation in Utah.
And the best news is that the stations will be available for use at no financial cost both to Packsize employees and the general public.
Rocky Mountain Power awarded Packsize International with a $111,280 incentive check to offset the cost of the Level 2 electric vehicle chargers. These EV incentives are available to any Utah company that wants to install charging infrastructure!
Packsize is a leader in sustainability and forging solutions to our local air quality problems. It spearheaded the creation of a non-profit, Leaders for Clean Air, in 2015 to encourage businesses to install charging infrastructure. Because vehicles are the largest source of wintertime air pollution and EVs have no tailpipe emissions, incentivizing employees to make the switch to an electric vehicle by offering workplace charging is a tangible way businesses can get involved in promoting better air quality.
Leaders for Clean Air now has an alliance of dozens of businesses and has helped catalyze the installation of 184 workplace EV charging stations in the last two years.
At the ribbon cutting, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, along with other Leaders for Clean Air founding members, provided updates on the clean air advancements and future goals for Salt Lake’s airshed. Leaders for Clean Air also presented a charging unit to Attorney General Sean Reyes, who spoke at the event.
Mayor Biskupski and Rep. Patrice Arent, Clean Air Caucus founder & Chair, demonstrate how to use a new Level 2 EV charging unit at Packsize’s campus.
We’re in the midst of a yucky inversion. At one point on Monday, the amount of particulate pollution crossed the 55.5 microgram/cubic meter threshold, which puts us in the red category of “Unhealthy” territory.
Unfortunately, our weather patterns and geography mean we have to work extra hard to reduce what goes into the air.
One of the simplest things you can do is to leave the car at home.
Did you know that the majority of pollution comes when you simply turn your car on?
It’s the phenomenon of “Cold Starts.”
It means that 60-90% of your commute’s emissions come in the first three minutes. Pretty incredible, huh?
You can learn more about cold starts from UCAIR’s great blog post and video below.
So what can you do? Well, aim to keep your car parked as frequently as possible — even if it’s just for a day, or a single trip you’re skipping
How to avoid the Cold Start: Read more