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Posts from the ‘Sustainable Food’ Category

Green Holiday Guide

Adobe Spark (8)

SLCgreen’s “Green Holiday Guide.” It’s snow bunny approved.

 

During the holiday rush, sustainability may not be the first thing on your mind. Fortunately, there are a number of measures you can take to ensure your festivities are more eco-friendly and sustainable.

We’ve compiled these actions into a convenient Green Holiday Guide. No matter how you celebrate, we at SLCgreen hope you find this information helpful and wish you the best of times and a very happy New Year!

Christmas Trees

One great option for your home Christmas tree is a live native potted tree. When you’re done with it, plant it after the holidays or let it live on as a house plant. As an added bonus, a live tree will absorb carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen for cleaner air.

Check with your local nursery or garden center for advice on the best type of tree, depending if you are planning to replant or keep it inside.  If you can, hold off and plant it in late March or early April. This will increase the tree’s chance of surviving long term.

If you go for a cut tree, use the compost bin to dispose of it after the holidays. Make sure to cut it up so it fits in the bin and remove any tinsel or non-organic decorations (Just be sure to dispose of it before the wintertime suspension of compost bin collection, beginning the week of January 22, 2018).

If you can’t cut up your tree for the compost bin, no problem. Leave it curbside and we’ll be by during the month of January to collect it.

No matter what you do, do not burn your tree. Burning anything during the winter is horrible for our air quality (Burning during “air action” days is also against State regulation and violates Salt Lake County Health Department rules).

Energy efficiency

When stringing up lights this season, think “less is more.” For the lights you do put up, go for LED lights, which are 80-95% more efficient than traditional bulbs and will last longer. (This is a good reminder to switch out any other traditional light bulbs you may have in your home for LEDs too!)

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LED lights look great on me!

Make sure you have your lights on a timer so they only are on when you want them to be. Some LED Christmas lights are even solar powered! Read more

Cider Pressing Day

 

The Green Urban Lunch Box logo

This week, SLCgreen FruitShare partner The Green Urban Lunch Box and Mountain West Hard Cider are inviting volunteers to help press locally harvested apples into the second edition of The Green Urban Lunch Box Hard Cider.

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The collaboration between the local non-profit and local business began last year and was a natural solution to the problem of what to do with fruit that’s not high enough quality for eating or donating, but is perfect for juice. What a creative way to minimize food waste!

Harvesting about 9,000 pounds of fruit from 50 various locations across the Salt Lake Valley and even a bit beyond, The Green Urban Lunch Box pressed approximately 350 gallons of juice in 2016. A crew of six staff members and two faithful volunteers spent two 12-hour days pressing apples, while almost 400 volunteers put in more than 1,500 hours to pick fruit that contributed to this juice.
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Eat Local Week is Back!

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Eat Local Week is back! This fun week, sponsored by a variety of groups including Salt Lake City, is dedicated to helping you eat more local food.

This year there are a number of events that will get you into the local food spirit including lectures, workshops, and even a challenge: Can you eat every meal with food grown or produced in Utah this week?

Food that is produced locally is inherently more sustainable and this event series is a good reminder to take a look at your food habits and consider where your food comes from.

Here’s why it matters: Read more

A New Partnership Aims to Reduce Food Waste in Salt Lake City and Beyond

by Terra Pace

In Salt Lake City, we’re proud to offer curbside compost collection for residents. That means those brown bins can take more than just leaves and twigs– they can take your fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, and coffee grounds.

However, food waste is still a big problem. In the U.S. nearly 40% of the nation’s food supply is thrown out, and according to the EPA, 20% of what goes to municipal landfills is food waste.

While compost operations can handle raw fruit and vegetable scraps, a missing piece of the food waste puzzle– particularly for large operations– is what to do with prepared products. This includes cooked foods, packaged foods, meat, cheese, and leftovers from someone’s dinner plate.

Enter Wasatch Resource Recovery.

Slated for operation in fall of 2018, the company will open an “anaerobic digester” that will be able to turn organic waste– including fats, oils, and grease– into sustainable resources –– biogas and bio-based fertilizer.  This project, which will help to greatly reduce the amount of food going to our landfill, will also generate energy.

Digester Read more

SLC FruitShare: Saving Fruit That Would Otherwise Go Unpicked

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)

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From Seeds to Good Deeds: Backyard GardenShare Fights Local Hunger

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.

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Moving forward with a Comprehensive Sustainability Policy for Salt Lake City Corp

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.

Sustainability Collage

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