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Posts from the ‘General Sustainability’ Category

Thank you Jen Colby for your Service on the Food Policy Task Force!

We’re excited to highlight the work of Food Policy Task Force member Jen Colby for this edition of SLCgreen Connections. This photo is from her time completing an Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She returns regularly to visit the farm and gardens.

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!

For this edition, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Jen Colby, who was a volunteer on our Food Policy Task Force (FPTF) for over 10 years and just concluded her term. She also served as co-chair for the group from 2017-2018. She also helped establish the Office of Sustainability at the University of Utah. Jen has worked to address issues ranging from food systems and campus gardens to air quality and climate change– she is truly a persevering agent for change!

What is the Food Policy Task Force?

The Food Policy Task Force (FPTF) is a group of individuals from diverse sectors of the local food system. They are constantly on the look-out for how Salt Lake City can catalyze opportunities to create an accessible, sustainable, low carbon, and equitable food system that provides healthy and culturally appropriate food for the community. In particular, the Task Force members advocate for policies and programs that support and protect urban agriculture, increase access to fresh, local produce, eliminate food waste, and drive community and economic activity within the local food system.

Jen has witnessed many positive changes over her decade of service on the Food Policy Task Force and has been a leader in bringing many of them to fruition. We wanted to take this opportunity to hear her reflections on the state of our local food system, and to thank her for all she does to contribute to a more sustainable community!

Volunteering with several University of Utah students at Sandhill Farms in Eden, Utah.

In addition to her work on local food, Jen just completed her graduate studies with honors (congratulations!) at the University of Utah’s Master of Public Administration Program, as well as the Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Sustainability. She volunteers with Slow Food Utah and is a member of the board of the Community Animal Welfare Society (CAWS). Finally, her volunteer work extends to her local community council, where she is on the executive committee for the East Central Community Council. Whew!

Here is our interview:

What drives your commitment to your community?

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YouthCity is Saving the Planet One Reusable Bag at a Time

Students in the YouthCity program at Sorenson Unity Center care about the future of our planet and our community!

YouthCity is a Salt Lake City Division offering programs for children and young adults ages 8-19. They have many offerings throughout the city, including after-school and full-time during the summer. The programming is designed to foster positive youth development in an inclusive and caring environment.

This year, YouthCity ran a Session of Service program to explore and take action on issues affecting our community, with staff and students collectively brainstorming ways to get involved.

So far, they have completed several impactful projects focusing on air pollution, homelessness, and plastic pollution.

We want to highlight one project in particular . . .

Making Reusable Bags

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Mayor Biskupski Urges Climate Action Before Congress

On Tuesday, April 2, Mayor Biskupski appeared before the House Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change to discuss how a warming planet is affecting Salt Lake City– from our air quality, to wildfires, to drought, to the ski industry, and more.

To see the full testimony, watch the video below (Mayor Biskupski begins at roughly 2:40:40)

See news coverage here:

  • Deseret News: Salt Lake City mayor urges action on climate change in testimony before congressional committee
  • Salt Lake Tribune: Biskupski touts Salt Lake City’s efforts to address climate change and urges the federal government to step up
  • KSL: Salt Lake City mayor urges action on climate change in testimony before congressional committee
  • KUER: Salt Lake City Mayor: Cities Are Already Fighting Climate Change, Now Washington Needs To Step Up

Her written testimony is included below. Also check out her 5-minute remarks on the Mayor’s site.

FULL WRITTEN TESTIMONY

Mayor Jacqueline M. Biskupski
Testimony before the Committee on Energy and Commerce
Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change
April 2, 2019

Committee Members:

Thank you for welcoming me here today, and for taking the time to hear from local elected officials on the topic of climate change.

My name is Jackie Biskupski. I’m proud to serve as Mayor for the 200,000 residents of Salt Lake City—a position I’ve had since 2016. I’m also Chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Alliance for a Sustainable Future—a committee dedicated to forging connections between the public and private sectors to collaboratively tackle our environmental challenges. I’m also co-chair of the Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean Energy coalition, and a member of Climate Mayors and Women 4 Climate.

Salt Lake City is a majestic and special place.  Over 25 years ago, I came to Utah for a ski trip and I never left! We are the crossroads of the west and are blessed to have world-class recreation, breathtaking natural splendors, a strong economy, a vibrant culture, and a collaborative spirit.

Today I am here to discuss what we are already experiencing in Salt Lake City, and how we are working tremendously hard to avoid the worst effects that are projected. But we need your help.

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This is a Sustainability Workshop You Don’t Want to Miss

March 21 and 22, 2019

Utah’s premiere sustainability summit is celebrating its 10th anniversary!

Over 400 sustainability professionals, engaged citizens, and emerging leaders will gather at Weber State University on March 21 and 22 for the 10th annual celebration of the Sustainability Summit. It’s also one of our favorite yearly events!

The Summit is hosted by Weber State University’s Sustainability Practices and Research Center (SPARC) and was created to increase sustainability practices by engaging students, sustainability professionals, and the general public in topics such as clean energy infrastructure, green buildings, urban water, and other sustainability topics.

Join us for the fun!

The Intermountain Sustainability Summit features two days of events, including the main Summit day on Thursday, March 21, and workshops on Friday, March 22.

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What a Year! Check out our 2018 Year in Review

Check out Salt Lake City Sustainability’s 2018 Year in Review!

The last few years have been incredible for us here at SLCgreen and this past year was no exception.

We are thrilled to share our progress from 2018 with you. As always, we’d like to give a huge shout out to all of our partners— those in City government, other government agencies, non-profit associations, passionate neighborhood groups, and dedicated community councils with whom we work. Building a more sustainable SLC takes many hands!

Below are some of the highlights from our 2018 annual report. You can download the full 2018 report here

Don’t miss our reports from 2017 and 2016 too.

Highlights from 2018 include:

Air Quality and Climate Change

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Give Generously, Give Better

We wish you a restful, sustainable, and joyful holiday season and beyond. Thank you for making our community one of the most generous in the country.

December is the month for generosity. It’s the time not only for giving gifts to loved ones, but for giving to the causes you care about. The giving spirit may also encourage you to think of those less fortunate in our community who need a little help.

Indeed sharing compassion and empathy with those struggling is what elevates– and betters– our entire community.

In fact, our state is known for its generosity, securing the second spot in the nation in a recent study.

With that in mind, Salt Lake City, the Lieutenant Governor, and community service providers recently held a press conference to encourage residents to give smarter– and to give generously– this holiday season and year-round.

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Goal: Reduce food waste this holiday season

agriculture basket close up colorful

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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