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Posts from the ‘2018’ Category

Coming Together on Climate

Mayors Climate Picture

Mayor Biskupski meets with local elected officials from across Utah to discuss policies to address climate change.

Last week, Mayor Biskupski brought together mayors and councilmembers from nine other Utah communities to discuss what local government can do to address climate change.

The latest data about fossil fuel consumption and associated pollution is deeply troubling. For the first time in hundreds of thousands of years, the Earth hit a monthly average of 410 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 in the atmosphere.

But we still have a window to act. That’s why it’s critical for local governments to drive policies that reduce energy consumption, catalyze renewable energy development, and transform our transportation sector.

In addition to creating our own plan, Climate Positive SLCwe need to work together to achieve the kind of change our planet and future requires.

That’s why the Mayor has taken leadership roles in a number of high-profile networks, including Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean EnergyClimate Mayors, and locally with Path to Positive Utah. She was also recently appointed to chair the Alliance for a Sustainable Future Committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

It’s also important, as Utah’s capital city, for us to lead locally and share the expertise and experience we have with other cities and towns. We can and must be stronger together.

That was the intention behind last week’s meeting, which was co-hosted with the Salt Lake City chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. It garnered interest from mayors and councilmembers from Utah cities and towns representing 750,000 residents which is 24 percent of the state’s total population.

READ MORE VIA THE MAYOR’S BLOG . . .

The Square Kitchen Opens Today!

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 . . . It’s a project 8 years in the making.

Food. It does more than just nourish our bodies. It’s a vehicle for transmitting culture and building community. It sustains families and farmers. It employs a huge workforce.

Food is integral to our economy, our environment, and our families. That’s one reason why SLCgreen has a food policy program which aims to increase the amount of local food grown, sold, and purchased in Salt Lake City.

Today we are thrilled to celebrate a huge milestone for a project we’ve been working on since 2010—the opening of a culinary incubator kitchen.

Read more

Get Your Compost!

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by Ardyn Ford, spring intern

Bring Your Own Beverage Bucket!

There is a great new way to get locally produced natural fertilizer for your home lawn or garden! The new “Buck a Bucket” program launched this spring by the Salt Lake Valley Landfill will sell five gallons of compost for $1 to anyone who supplies their own bucket. The promotion ends July 31, 2018.

Better yet, this compost is made from our very own green waste that’s put into the curbside compost cans every week.

It’s high-quality stuff and has been certified by the U.S. Composting Council.

Compost Buck a Bucket Picture

Through July 31, bring a 5-gallon bucket and fill it with compost for $1!

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Tips to Remove Pesky Weeds

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“Weeds, oh what glorious beautiful weeds!” –said no homeowner ever.

They appear from what seems like nowhere and after all the hard work that goes into caring for our yards, they are often the last thing we want to see sprouting up.

But as you get to know the type of weeds in your yard you can begin to understand the condition it is in. Weeds can indicate what your lawn needs to be healthy and naturally resistant to weeds, pests, and further problems.

Ironically, one of the culprits of an unhealthy lawn is the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. They restrict water flow and inhibit proper air circulation in soil. High nitrogen fertilizers disturb soil’s natural nutrition balance, increase turf growth, and accelerate the need to mow. Additionally, soil needs microorganisms, earthworms, and other insects to keep it happy and healthy; pesticides kill these much-needed friends.

By going pesticide free, you can improve your lawn and landscape by mimicking a natural ecosystem and allowing your lawn and garden to flourish organically. We hope you will take the pledge to go pesticide free and make a commitment to our health, environment, and ecosystem.

Read on to learn more about simple and effective ways to thwart and defeat weed growth—without nasty chemicals that affect our pets, kids, pollinators, and waterways.

Read more

Recycling: This Earth Day, Let’s Get Back to Basics

It’s #EarthWeek in Salt Lake City! We’re excited to bring you a range of content to inspire action on behalf of our planet. As part of that, we were excited to contribute a blog post to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality about recycling. There have been some changes in the industry in the last year and it all reminds us to “get back to basics: reduce, reuse, and recycle right.” Read on!

Contamination Plastic Bags

Plastic bag “contamination” at a local recycling facility. Help us reduce, reuse, and recycle right!

by Sophia Nicholas, SLCgreen Communications Manager

Recycling is one of the most common sense practices to conserve resources and care for the Earth.

So this Earth Day—let’s get back to basics and take a deep dive on what’s going on with recycling these days and what you as an environmentally-conscious person should do to “recycle right.”

Did you know that most of the items you put in the recycling bin get sent to Asia to be processed into new material? Those water bottles get turned into fleece, cardboard into paper bags, and milk jugs into . . . new milk jugs.

A large majority of this material is processed in China.  Or, I should say, was.

You may have heard that China is no longer accepting the world’s waste as of January 2018. They were previously processing roughly half of the world’s plastic, metal, and paper recyclables. Their ban is part of an effort to clean up their environment and not become the home of “foreign garbage.” We applaud China’s strengthening of their environmental laws, policies, and procedures.

However, in the short term, the Chinese ban is causing recycling vendors and processors worldwide to search for new markets for some of the material China no longer wants. This includes lower-quality plastics and paper. China also doesn’t want “contamination”—which refers to non-recyclable items being mixed up with recyclable items, as well as dirty and unwashed recyclables.

READ MORE ON THE DEQ BLOG

Eliminating Food Waste Helps the Earth and the Hungry

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Welcome to SLCgreen Connections, an occasional series highlighting SLCgreen’s fantastic local partners—the people and organizations with whom we work closely to make Salt Lake City a greener, more vibrant, and sustainable city!

by Ardyn Ford, SLCgreen intern

It is the rideshare of philanthropy: simple, quick, and on your own time. Designed with the fast-paced nature of the modern world in mind, Food Rescue US makes it easy to make a significant difference without overbooking your calendar.

Currently, Americans waste 40 billion pounds of food every year. This translates to 40% of the food supply. On the other side of this waste stands 50 million food insecure Americans who are unsure where their next meal is coming from. If you do the math, you’ll discover that the food being wasted could feed 36 million people three meals a day. There is a clear disconnect here.

Food waste is also a large source of carbon pollution–that includes all the wasted energy it took to grow, transport, and package the food in the first place, as well as the direct emissions rotting food produces in landfills.

So this Earth Week, learn more about what this unique organization is doing about it– and how you can get involved!

Read more

Organic Alternatives to Chemical Pesticides

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by Sydney Boogaard, spring intern

Why use alternatives to pesticides?

If you have the privilege of having a lawn or garden, you aim to keep it lush, green, and pest free. In order to obtain this, many resort to the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. While these products may be effective, they are also harmful, not only to the ecosystem, but our own human health. Most fertilizers and pesticides are manufactured with chemicals that can hurt human health; as research has shown even regulated pesticides cause damage, and all the effects have not yet been studied.

Fortunately, there are cost-effective natural alternatives to pesticides and fertilizers that will help you attain that healthy pest free yard, all while being pesticide free. Join our #PesticideFreeSLC campaign and pledge to keep our yards healthy and our bodies safe! Read more