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Posts tagged ‘healthy’

Autumn is the time for yard care

 . . . Fall is an important time of year for employing organic and sustainable gardening methods.

Pesticide Free SLC!

Preparing for next year– Be Pesticide Free!

The fall is a key part of the gardening cycle because it allows us to prepare our garden for the winter and sets us up for a productive spring and summer.

Most pesticides and fertilizers used today are produced with harmful chemicals that even when applied correctly can have adverse effects on the environment, pollinators, and human health.

But don’t worry– there are plenty of ways to have a healthy garden and lawn without using noxious chemicals.

Leave the Leaves

Not all leaves need to be raked up and disposed of immediately:

  • Consider that your leaves are a free fertilizer and weed suppressant! This makes them perfect for organic gardening.
  • Leaves also provide important winter habitat for butterflies, bees, and other beneficial bugs.
  • Finally, “leaving your leaves” reduces emissions associated with polluting leaf blowers. Keeping leaves out of the landfill also prevents the generation of potent methane emissions.

So how can you use leaves?

Use whole leaves around perennials, trees and bushes, or lightly layered on lawn (they may need to be shredded first). You can also create a leaf pile that will decompose into “leaf mold“– a rich, valuable compost amendment to be used in warmer months. Or– if you’re like me– simply pile your leaves on your vegetable garden bed and turn them into the soil in the spring before planting.

And if you still have too many leaves, use your curbside compost can to dispose of them (please keep them out of the gutters and storm drains). If you have a lot of leaves, give us a shout and we’ll help you get an extra container or two.

Here are a number of helpful resources on “leaving leaves”:
Xerces Foundation      National Wildlife Federation     Leave Leaves Alone

Use organic amendments to improve the health of your soil

Materials like the aforementioned leaves, as well as other compost, manure, bone meal, etc. can be used to balance the pH of your soil and will release nutrients into the soil to create a vibrant ecosystem and help your garden grow. Mulches can also be great for keeping weeds down, retaining moisture, and feeding the soil. Other organic soil enhancers, like coffee grounds, tea bags, and even newspaper can be an important tool in keeping your garden thriving. Learn more about amending your soil.
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SLCgreen director touts city’s efforts toward sustainability, meets with President Obama during Utah visit (FOX13 Story)

VickiFOX13

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.

Utah Clean Air Fair this Saturday, Sept 20

cleanairfair

The Utah Clean Air Fair (UCAF) is an opportunity to amplify community engagement and empowerment on clean air issues in a fun and educational atmosphere for the whole family.

Last year’s Clean Air Fair brought out 1,000 enthusiastic Utahns. And with winter right around the corner, this is the perfect opportunity to discover what you can do to improve our local air quality.

There will be local vendors, information booths, and live music. SLCgreen will be there, so stop by to say “hello!” and explore what we’re doing to reduce our impact.

Bring your family and friends, take part in your community, leave inspired and ready for a breath of fresh air!

Where:
Library Square
200 E. 400 S.

When: 
Saturday, September 20
Noon – 5 p.m.

Cost:
Free!

Leonardo After Hours Presents: Is Your Food Killing You?

Leo_Ext

Yesterday The Leonardo, in partnership with The Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR), announced the next edition of Leonardo After Hours focusing on making healthy, better informed food choices.

Is Your Food Killing You: Navigating a Full Crop of What Food is Healthy, Toxic and Everything in Between features a dialogue between experts in various fields of nutrition, representatives from the food industry and members of our community. With so many diets, recommendations on how to eat, what we eat, how and where food is grown and nutrition fads, it’s hard to distinguish the food news from food fat. The goal of this discussion is to help us truly understand what is healthy vs. what is not.

Come prepared with your questions and comments.

Where:
The Leonardo
209 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Date:
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Time:
6:00-7:30 p.m.

Cost:
FREE!

Appetizers and drinks are available for purchase.

Partners:
The Utah Science Technology and Research initiative (USTAR) is a long-term, state-funded investment to strengthen Utah’s “knowledge economy” and generate high-paying jobs. Funded in March 2006 by the State Legislature, USTAR is based on three program areas. The first area involves funding for strategic investments at the University of Utah and Utah State University to recruit world-class researchers. The second area is to build state-of-the-art interdisciplinary facilities at these institutions for the innovation teams. The third program area involves teams that work with companies and entrepreneurs across the State to promote science, innovation, and commercialization activities. For more information, follow USTAR on Twitter.

Located in the heart of Salt Lake City at the Library Square TRAX stop, The Leonardo is a first-of-a-kind museum connecting science, technology and creativity. Here, visitors of all ages can exercise their curiosity, their creativity and experience unique, interactive exhibits and an ongoing calendar of public programs, workshops and classes. For more information about The Leonardo visit: www.theleonardo.org.

Popperton Plots: A Community Garden for The Avenues

Today Mayor Ralph Becker gathered with Jeramy Lund of the Community Foundation of Utah, Ashley Patterson of Wasatch Community Gardens and local gardeners to dedicate the Popperton Plots community garden in the Avenues neighborhood.

“Salt Lake City recognizes the important role community gardens play in supporting our local food system,” said Mayor Becker. “We are delighted to dedicate Popperton Plots, the first community garden to open under our expanded Green City Growers program.”

This spring, Green City Growers was awarded $50,000 in grant funds to support the development of two new community gardens including Popperton Plots. The award included $25,000 from Partners for Places, an initiative launched by the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN).

Partners for Places is a matching grant program that creates opportunities for cities and counties to improve communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability offices and place-based foundations. The Community Foundation of Utah provided the $25,000 grant match and will manage permanent endowments.

“We are committed to sustainable nonprofits and sustainable communities, and this project is a demonstration of both,” said Community Foundation of Utah Board Chairman Jeramy Lund.

Five additional parcels of city-managed land are currently available for community garden access. Residents are encouraged to review the available parcels on SLCgreen.com and, if interested, complete an application for the organization and creation of a community garden.

Applications are due November 1, 2014.

Salt Lake City works directly with Wasatch Community Gardens and community members to develop gardens within City limits. Wasatch Community Gardens is a community-based nonprofit that has served Salt Lake County for over 25 years.

Other media coverage:

Tips to Green Your Thanksgiving

Photo Credits:

Photo Credits: misterjt, The Vault DFW, oogoom, trpnblies7 via Flickr.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! And we have some tips to help you “green” the holiday that is synonymous with giving thanks (and over indulgence).

Buy local.

  • Stop by the SLC Winter Market this Saturday (November 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) to pick up essentials like root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams), hearty greens like kale, and specialty items like honey.
  • Also check out Cali’s Natural Foods, a Salt Lake City e2 business, for tasty local produce (open on Fridays and Saturdays). If you need some inspiration, Buzzfeed has delicious vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes!
  • What about the turkey? If you cannot imagine Thanksgiving without one, there are some great local resources for free range, hormone-free (dare we say happy?) turkey. Liberty Heights Fresh, a another e2 business, offers two choices, in addition to lots of other local veggies and specialty foods. Read more

Give Hope, Opportunity & Training to New Farmers

greenurbanlunchbox

Photo: Shawn Peterson

The Green Urban Lunch Box, a project of the Community Foundation of Utah, is preparing to launch an incubator farm in the spring of 2014.

An incubator farm offers urban farmers access to land on which they can start their own growing operations with guidance from experienced farmers. The Green Urban Lunchbox’s planned incubator farm is located in Layton, UT on an old fruit orchard leased from the Utah Department of Transportation.

Read more