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Posts tagged ‘green’

2016 Utah Bike Summit: Shifting Into High Gear

2016-summit-logo-263x300The 2016 Utah Bike Summit: Shifting Into High Gear will take place April 5th at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City. The Utah Bike Summit is the statewide bicycle conference. The summit brings together everyday riders, bicycle and trail advocates, representatives from Utah’s bicycle industry, planners, engineers, representatives from Utah’s tourism industry and health fields, and local and state government officials in order to make Utah more bicycle friendly. Regardless of your interest in bicycling (transportation, recreation, road, mountain, commuter), the Utah Bike Summit is for you and all are encouraged to attend.

This year’s keynote speaker is Danish bicycle transportation expert Mikael Colville-Andersen. Here is a link to one of Mikael’s TED Talks. There will also be a closing address from Andy Clarke who served as the president of the League of American Bicyclists for 12 years before stepping down last year. In addition, there will be an update from UDOT Deputy Director Shane Marshall. The remainder of the day will be filled with breakout sessions that cover a wide variety of subjects related to increasing and improving bicycling across Utah.

Registration includes:

  • All educational/breakout sessions and keynote address
  • Networking opportunities
  • Catered lunch

Regular registration rates are available through March 18th.

For more information and to register, visit : http://bikeutah.org/utah-bike-summit/utah-bike-summit-2/

Happy Holidays! From SLCgreen

FINAL 2015 Holiday Card

We’ve had a wonderful 2015, and look forward to an eventful 2016!

Green Holiday Ideas

Here are some tips for a more sustainable holiday season.

newspaperGifts Use recycled wrapping paper! Get creative and make your own with old maps, newspaper, photographs, or paper bags. Here are some more fun ideas!

Give experiences instead of material items.  Think a visit to a museum, garden, or aviary, or a ski pass, a yoga or cooking class, a gift certificate to a spa or a ticket to a ballet or sporting event. Or consider donating to an organization on behalf of someone.  Make gifts or buy gifts made of recycled materials. If you are going to buy gifts, support local businesses including our e2 businesses which are both local and green!

veganpumpkinpienutfree-1-of-1_thumbFood Make sustainable food choices like buying from local growers.  Stock up on holiday staples at this weekend’s Winter Market Saturday from 10:00am-2:00pm at the Rio Grande Train Depot.

Incorporate vegan dishes into your holiday traditions. Be creative with leftovers and reduce food waste. Also, use reusable tableware and be sure to recycle glass and cans.

wreathDecorations  Here are some fun decorating ideas: String popcorn and cranberries together to make festive decor. Make paper chains with recycled newspapers or magazines and homemade ornaments out of recycled holiday cards. Cut bows from shrubs and trees in your yard and make a homemade wreath.  After the holidays, if you have a tree, please put it in the brown compost can.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Winterize Your Home- Energy Saving Tips

Basic tips for saving money and increasing energy efficiency this winter!

  1. Insulate your windows.  Single pane windows are especially inefficient, but double pane windows can also benefit from insulation.  Plastic film kits range from $10-$30, are easy to install, and effective. According to Lowe’s, window film can help retain up to 55% of your home’s heat in winter!  If you are feeling ambitious, consider installing storm doors and windows!
  2. Dodge the drafts.  Do you have cold air sneaking in at the base of your door? Use a rolled bath towel placed at the base of the door to block the air.  Or use an old sock or sew together some old fabric scraps and fill with sand or rice. Here are some draft stopper ideas!
  3. draft stopper

    Photo Credit: Frugal Homemaking

    Change your furnace filter. Dirty filters restrict air flow and increase energy demand.  Changing your filter once a month is recommended during the heating season, or use a permanent filter to reduce waste.

  4. Set your water heater to 120 degrees (or lower). Water heaters are often set to 140 degrees which is likely higher than necessary.  Lower the temperature to reduce your water heating costs.
  5. Turn down your thermostat. This is one of the surest ways to save money. For every degree you lower the thermostat during heating season, you’ll save between 1 and 3 percent of your heating bill.  Try 68 degrees, or lower when asleep or away from home.  And dress warmer for winter, wear a sweater!

Enjoy the winter season!

Green Thanksgiving Ideas

1. Planning your holiday menu? What better place to do your Thanksgiving shopping than at the pre-Thanksgiving edition Winter Market at the Rio Grande, Saturday, November 21st? Feature local food on your table this season. Utah growers will be selling holiday staples: onions, potatoes, carrots, winter squash, pumpkin, apples and more!

2. Try Vegducken, a delicious and beautifully layered vegetarian entrée.

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Here are some great additional vegetarian recipes!

3. Resist the urge to use disposable table settings.  Have a dish-washing party with your guests.  Many hands make work light!

4. Be creative with leftovers! Share them amongst guests. Re-purpose them into sandwiches and soups!  Use re-usable containers for storage.

5. Compost and recycle.  Remember plant based food scraps can go in the brown compost can!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

SLCgreen director touts city’s efforts toward sustainability, meets with President Obama during Utah visit (FOX13 Story)

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SLCgreen Director Vicki Bennett was recently profiled by FOX 13 News during President’s Obama’s visit to Utah. Click on the screenshot above to view the video. Here is the transcript:

SALT LAKE CITY — Vicki Bennett has been with Salt Lake City for 14 years, and she said this city in particular has been on the forefront of sustainability.

The word sustainability can mean different things to different people, but for Bennett and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker’s administration, it comes down a pretty basic concept.

She said: “How do we ensure we keep Salt Lake City the best we can, for now and for our children? We want people to want to continue to want to live here, we want a healthy environment.”

During Becker’s nearly two terms, Bennett has helped lead the mayor’s sustainability team by developing solar energy projects, reducing carbon emissions and encouraging local business owners to meet air quality and energy targets by evaluating their building’s energy use, setting energy-saving goals, and conducting energy-saving improvement projects.

“And what’s so exciting is that Salt Lake’s sustainability program, if you talk to our peers, is considered one of the top 10 in the nation, for a small city,” Bennett said.

Those efforts have also been noticed by leaders in Washington D.C.

Mayor Becker and President Barack Obama share a similar vision regarding sustainability, and it has helped them forge a strong, working relationship. Bennett said that in turn helps the effort back in Salt Lake City.

“He’s been able to get us a voice in the White House,” she said. “Because of that, we’ve been able to get funding for grants that a lot of cities aren’t even invited to apply for.”

Bennett knows there will soon be a new mayor but said she believes Salt Lake City’s advances in walkable housing, transportation, solar power and recycling are here to stay.

“We always have to be improving our environment, we always have to be ensuring we have healthy air to breathe, that we have water quality and water quantity for our residents,” she said.

Bennett was able to briefly meet President Obama Thursday night during his visit to Utah, and she said the honor gave everyone on their staff a renewed sense of determination to move forward with sustainability efforts.

Full story, including video, available at FOX13Now.com.

SLCgreen Highlights from 2014

Happy New Year! It’s been a busy year for the Salt Lake City Green team, and we look forward to an exciting 2015 with your ongoing support. Since we’re in a reflective mood, take a look at some of our highlights from 2014.

Climate Task Force

We started the year with Mayor Ralph Becker’s appointment to the White House’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. Both Mayor Becker and Sustainability Director Vicki Bennett attended a series of round tables throughout the year, which culminated in the presentation of recommendations to the President in Washington D.C.

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Project Skyline

In May, Salt Lake City hosted EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for a historic visit. In addition to a round table discussion with key partners, Administrator McCarthy joined Mayor Becker to kick off Project Skyline and the Mayor’s Skyline Challenge, a new initiative to curb energy waste from our city’s commercial buildings. SLCgov.com/ProjectSkyline

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SmartTrips Sugar House

During the summer, we kicked off a new year of SmartTrips in the Sugar House/S-Line neighborhood. The program focused on encouraging residents to walk, bike and take public transit to reduce their vehicle trips and impact on air quality. It was a great success! Over 500 households participated, increasing their alternative transit trips by 46% during the height of the program. SmartTripsSLC.com

Cover Photo

SLC Goes Solar

In June, we flipped the switch on Salt Lake City’s new solar farm. The farm produces 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy annually for our net zero Public Safety Building. We also celebrated two other important solar projects at the event, rooftop installations on the Public Safety Building and Plaza 349. Over 4,000 solar panels were installed on the three project sites, which will generate 1.7 million kilowatt-hours annually. SLCgreenBlog.com

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Popperton Plots Community Garden

In August we celebrated the successful opening and dedication of the Popperton Plots Community Garden in the Avenues. Popperton is one of the first community gardens to open on a parcel of city-owned land, made available through an expanded Green City Growers program. Popperton was also the receipient of a Partners for Places grant to support their development. It was a wonderful harvest celebration and an important milestone! More plots are available for development: SLCgreenblog.com

PoppertonCollage

Sustainable Business Leadership Award

In November, Sustainability Director Vicki Bennett was recognized by Utah Business Magazine with a Sustainable Leadership Award, and the whole SLCgreen team was there to help her celebrate! Vicki has led Salt Lake City’s award-winning Salt Lake City Green program for 13 years, spearheading initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and divert waste from the landfill. Congratulations, Vicki! SLCgreenblog.com

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Green Your Holiday Celebrations This Season

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Photo Credit: m01229 via Flickr

Despite the unusually high temperatures, holiday season is upon us. Instead of being bogged down by the “buy, buy, buy,” we’re offering suggestions to help green your holidays.

Here are tips on creating your own gifts and reducing waste.

Gifts: ‘Tis the season for spending. But you can still give amazing gifts without draining your bank account. Consider donating to a non-profit organization on behalf of a loved one, upcycle items into trendy new gifts, or make your own lotions or soaps. From “Do It Yourself” green gifts to sustainable wrapping, our Green Holiday Pinterest board has suggestions to help create a more sustainable holiday season.

Another idea, create a SoKind Registry, which allows you to ask for secondhand, gently used and handmade items, you can even request something as simple as a helping hand. SoKind has a fun tagline to keep in mind this holiday season – “More fun, less stuff!”

When you do head out to the stores, make a point of supporting local businesses. When you shop local, more of your dollars stay in the community. Local First Utah has a wonderful directory of Utah businesses on their website. Check out our list of Salt Lake City e2 businesses and consider supporting both a local AND green business!

Holiday Meals: The principles are evergreen, so check out our “recycled” Five Quick Tips for A Greener Thanksgiving blog post and our Green Thanksgiving Pinterest board to green your holiday meals.

Additionally, our Green Holiday Pinterest board has pins for minimizing the use of meat in recipes — vegetarian dishes have a lower environmental impact. And buy local! Pick up your local fresh vegetables from the Winter Farmer’s Market on December 20th, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Setting Your Table: Resist the urge to purchase single-use table settings. After their one use, they go right to the landfill where they take years to degrade (if they ever!) If you’re hosting, ask your guests to pitch in to help wash dishes. If you’re headed to a celebration away from your home, pack up some silverware, plates, and cups (or a water bottle) and bring them along. The extra ten seconds it takes to pack up your own dishes saves landfill space and energy.

Green Your Halloween (Part 2)

greenHalloweenBanner

Here are some of our favorite tips to green your Halloween!

Costumes

Do you generally buy a brand new costume, wear it once, and stash it away in the closet for years? Do you buy seasonal costumes that are full of toxins? It’s time to save some money, revere your health, and green your Halloween experience. Instead of buying a costume, rent one. Salt Lake City has a variety of places where you can rent a costume.

For adults and kids alike, be creative and make one from finds at a second hand store! Salt Lake City has several types of stores to choose from: Savers, Uptown Cheapskate and Deseret Industries all sell gently-used clothing.

Looking for last minute inspiration? There are about a million ideas on Pinterest.

Trick-or-Treating

For those going out:

  • Remember to bring something reusable to carry the candy in. A cloth grocery bag works well and is easy to carry. Pillowcases or a small bucket work well too!

For those staying in:

  • Hand out something tasty and healthy! Fruits and veggies (e.g. apples, baby carrots, grapes) are always a good choice and require minimal (if any) packaging. Organic fruit snacks are easier on the teeth than candy and are still delicious. Have you considered packets of granola, organic juice boxes or dried fruits?
  • There are plenty of non-food items that can be handed out too! Stickers, crayons, toothpastes and toothbrushes, beads and bean bags are all treats. Don’t forget pencils!

Things to Avoid

  • Most children’s face paints are full of toxic heavy metals (e.g. lead, nickel, and chromium). Manufacturers don’t include these on the package label. Make your own food-based make-up with these DIY Recipes.
  • Foods that contain high amounts of corn syrup/sugar, hydrogenated oils, or artificial colors and flavors.
  • Purchasing new costumes.
  • Purchasing a container to hold Halloween treats.
  • Handing out cheap petroleum-based, plastic toys.

For More Information On Greening Your Halloween

Above all, have a safe, happy and green Halloween!

Urban Gardening with the Bells

Blog post by SLCgreen’s Laura Schmidt.

Thinking of starting an urban garden? Dig right in!

Recently, the “Live More with Less” conference highlighted urban gardening as a practical and meaningful way to be more connected to your food and to improve your quality of life.

Kevin and Celia Bell, urban homesteaders for over ten years, have turned their yard entirely into a garden.

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Wanting to know more about the Bell’s urban homestead, they took me on a tour. Upon wandering onto their property, I was instantly captivated by the colors and the accessibility of food. The front yard has a diversity of life growing: apples, grapes, roses, currants, hazelnuts, cherry, horseradish, and service berries.

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After admiring the front yard, we entered the backyard through a gate. Every inch of the backyard was covered with life! I toured their half acre plot of land in Autumn and not in the full growing season. Among the 40 beds, each 4 x 25 feet, I saw plenty of greens, reds, oranges and yellows.

Garden Color

“I just harvested about 600 lbs of winter squash from 450 sq ft!” said Kevin Bell.

Winter Squash

These urban homesteaders also raise chickens and bees.

Chicken and Bees
Surrounded by several urban gardens, Celia and Kevin have a community of farmers right next to them. Their farm is adjacent to B.U.G. Farms, a community garden, Wasatch Commons, a cohousing neighborhood, and two beautiful llamas.

Llamas
It might be unrealistic to transform your entire yard into a garden, but we all have to start somewhere. Perhaps a good start is to grow plants in your house or apartment. Tomatoes seem to be a easy first plant. If you’re looking for something a bit more substantial, a small plot is easy to manage. Using the Arable Land Map, you can assess how much of your yard is available for gardening. With a little time and care, you can be eating the food you grew with your own hands!

Heirloom Tomato
If you need more inspiration before joining the Urban Gardening revolution, join us at Brewvies Cinema Pub, tonight for a viewing of Growing Cities, a film about urban farming in America, examines the role of urban farming in our culture and its power to revitalize our cities and change the way we eat. Learn more. Doors open at 6 p.m. Seating is limited. Movie starts at 7 p.m.