Several weeks ago, Salt Lake City’s Sustainability Department Director, Vicki Bennett, traveled to Sydney, Australia to meet with the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (CNCA). The purpose of her trip (which was fully funded by a scholarship) was to share best practices in carbon reduction strategies with 20 other cities from around the world.
Each city sent a sustainability representative to discuss one collective goal: limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius and how cities are taking on that challenge. Salt Lake City was selected to attend because of our commitment to lowering emissions city-wide via Climate Positive SLC, our membership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, and the involvement of Mayor Biskupski with Mayors For 100% Clean Energy.
“It was an honor to be included in this group,” Vicki said, noting that the attending cities all have some of the most progressive carbon reduction strategies in the world.
Read on for an abbreviated version of Vicki’s trip report . . .
By Brooke Taylor
Salt Lake City works in partnership with The Green Urban Lunch Box, a local nonprofit organization aimed to “empower people to engage in local food production by using the resources available in their community” to operate FruitShare. Volunteers help pick fruit from residents’ registered trees, then distribute the harvest 3 ways:
1/3 goes to homeowners, 1/3 goes to volunteers, 1/3 goes to hunger relief (Utah Food Bank, local food pantries, shelters, health clinics, and anti-hunger organizations)
By Frances Dingivan
Did you know that the average American wastes about one pound of food per day? Or that backyard gardeners throw away about 10 billion pounds of food per year in the United States? Even half of that produce could feed 14 million people. Meanwhile, more and more people are going hungry. 1 in 5 Utah children experiences food insecurity. Additionally, refugee and immigrant populations in Utah are growing, with more people finding themselves in need of food. Luckily, we have the solution in our own backyards.
by Brooke Taylor
As our readers know, one of SLCgreen’s core goals is to help you adopt tips and practices to make your life more sustainable. Whether that’s reducing your contribution to air pollution, learning how to eat more local food, or understanding what to recycle, all of us have a role to play in making Salt Lake City a more sustainable place to live.
That goes for our own operations as well. One of the major areas of focus for SLCgreen (as the City’s Sustainability Department is known) is helping SLC Corporation adopt best practices when it comes to those same sustainability measures we ask of our community.
That’s why we’re delighted to share with you some elements of our new internal Sustainability Policy, signed in January 2017 by Mayor Biskupski.
This policy affects Salt Lake City’s approximately 3,000 government employees, the community as a whole, our vendors, and the supply chains emanating from those vendors. By vowing to practice the best sustainable methods in all operations from prohibiting Styrofoam cups in break rooms, to carefully tracking our buildings’ energy usage, SLC is setting a community standard—a green standard.
We’d like to note that many of the guidelines in the Sustainability Policy were already in effect through various executive orders and policies, but this is the first time the best practices have been consolidated and turned into a comprehensive document.
If you’d like to read the whole policy, you can find it here.
Otherwise, read on for highlights . . . Read more
by Lauren Victor
In Utah, we are lucky enough to have access to water while living in the middle of a desert. With the climate changing and the Salt Lake City Valley population growing each year, the demand for water from our local Wasatch Mountains is increasing greatly. With the heat setting in quickly this summer, and with record highs predicted, one thing you can do to ease the pressure on the watershed is to conserve water through your landscape.
Conserving water does not mean your lifestyle needs to completely change, just take a look at the tips and links below to find out ways you can save water without losing the aesthetic of your garden!
Photo: Jennifer Leahy
Photo: Jeri Gravlin, 2015
Photo: Jeri Gravlin, 2015
Photo: Jeri Gravlin, 2015
New Roots participants work the soil and harvest greens on one of the IRC’s other farms.
You may remember our post last February, Salt Lake City Seeking Sustainable Farmers as part of the City’s initiative to provide more opportunities for local farmers to produce sustainable agriculture. Our goal with the Request for Proposals (RFP) for Urban Farming was to work with an area farmer or organization to convert a formerly-vacant 1.5-acre City plot into a productive oasis. In doing so, our aim was to strengthen the community, environment, and well-being of both farmers and nearby residents alike.
We’re thrilled to let you know that the International Rescue Committee was chosen!
The non-profit’s New Roots SLC program, which works with experienced refugee farmers, will transform the currently unused space adjacent to the Sorenson Unity Center into an organic, sustainable, and diversified vegetable farm.
The non-profit currently provides land, technical assistance, and market access for over 30 refugee farmers at other locations around the valley.
We’re pretty excited about this partnership. Here’s a bit more about how New Roots works . . .
Ever wonder how Salt Lake City successfully diverts over 32,000 tons of material annually from the landfill?
It’s a big undertaking– involving operations, education, outreach, and policy. And our amazing staff are at the heart of it!
Today we’re thrilled to announce that one of our own, Mitch Davis, is being recognized nationally for his efforts by Waste360, a recycling trade group serving 90,000 professionals.
The Waste360 “40 Under 40” awards program “recognizes inspiring and innovative professionals under the age of 40 whose work in waste, recycling and organics have made a significant contribution to the industry.“
“This award is a great honor in the waste & recycling industry,” said Lance Allen, Waste & Recycling Division Director. “We are very proud of Mitch and what he brings to our team and community.”
Mitch Davis accepts his Waste360 40 Under 40 award. 2017.
A shoe in the recycling bin? Nope!
Mitch started his career with Salt Lake City as an intern in 2008 while finishing up his degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Utah. His passion for waste diversion and public service has been the driving force behind the success of many of our waste diversion strategies ever since.
When Mitch started with Salt Lake City he wanted to, “make a difference.” Because of his hard work and dedication, he most certainly has achieved that goal! Here’s how: Read more