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Posts tagged ‘slcgreen’

Pledge to be Pesticide Free this Spring!

By Sydney Boogaard, spring intern

Spring is around the corner and that means it’s time for many of us to get serious about yard and garden work.

Whether you’re making a new landscape plan, planting fruit trees, beautifying with ornamentals, growing veggies, or maintaining a lawn, we invite you to join our #PesticideFreeSLC campaign and pledge to keep the chemicals out of your yard!

You may recall that last November we announced this campaign, which is part of our work with the Healthy Babies Bright Future alliance. Our goal with this partnership is to empower community members to reduce exposures to certain chemicals– beginning with pesticides– that have been found risky and dangerous to babies in the first 1,000 days of life.

This spring, we’re posting regular tips and tricks on when and how to prep your lawn and garden without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers.

Follow along, ask questions, and join us in creating a #PesticideFreeSLC!

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Salt Lake City Community Members Launch U Drive Electric


In a joint press conference, the University of Utah and Salt Lake City today announced the launch of an electric vehicle purchase program extending discounts on multiple makes and models of vehicles. The second round of U Drive Electric offers U community members and Salt Lake City community members the opportunity to purchase or lease electric and plug-in-hybrid vehicles at discounted prices through Oct. 31, 2016.

This joint program is aimed at improving air quality and community health both today and for future generations. With almost 50 percent of Utah’s urban air pollution coming from tailpipe emissions, electric vehicles represent an important tool for improving air quality along the Wasatch Front.
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SLCgreen Releases 2015 State of Sustainability Report

state of sustainability

For the first time ever, Salt Lake City Green has released a State of Sustainability Report. 2015: State of Sustainability in Salt Lake City is an overview of Salt Lake City’s hardworking Sustainability Division, which began in 2008.

The Sustainability Division (otherwise known as Salt Lake City Green, or SLCgreen) aims to preserve and improve our built and natural environments and provide people with information on sustainability issues affecting Salt Lake City. The Division of Sustainability develops goals and strategies to protect our natural resources, reduce pollution, slow climate change, and establish a path toward greater resiliency and vitality for all aspects of our community.

2015: State of Sustainability in Salt Lake City covers the core areas of the division, from air quality, climate change, energy and food to curbside recycling, garbage, compost and glass.

We’re excited to give you a look at what we’ve accomplished to date, and what we’re proud to be working on!

Explore the State of Sustainability. Download the report (PDF).

Feedback? Email us at

We’re excited for another fantastic year — see you in 2016!

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


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

Mayor Becker Addresses Blueprint for a Better Future

On Tuesday, Mayor Becker joined Governor Herbert and other community leaders for a special Sundance event at The Leonardo. Blueprint for a Better Future: Clean Air, Clean Water, Clean Energy was hosted by The Diplomatic Courier Magazine and Hinckley Institute of Politics, and explored how climate change and climate action is impacting the future of our cities.

Mayor Ralph Becker took the stage to share how Salt Lake City is proactively addressing the city’s future by taking climate change and climate adaptation into account today.

“The effects of climate change are real and impose a serious threat globally, and to our own community,” said Mayor Becker. “Salt Lake City is aggressively preparing for future climate challenges, to be a resilient community with a high quality of life due to our climate preparedness activities. Our efforts will ensure future clean and sufficient water supplies, investment in renewable, clean energy systems, and alternative transportation systems.”

The Mayor highlighted how these investments will not only make Salt Lake City more resilient, but that they will also improve community health through better air quality and a more walkable community. He also said that while Salt Lake City has been fortunate to have access to clean and reliable water from the Wasatch Mountains, the most profound climate risk our community faces is the loss of and degradation of our water supplies. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the most important strategy to reduce climate impacts to our water supplies.

What Salt Lake City is Doing

Salt Lake City has been measuring our greenhouse gas emissions since 2002, and now can tell every department and division their emissions by source, so they can implement specific reduction strategies.

New buildings are reviewed to determine if they can be built to a “net-zero” standard. Our new Public Safety Building has met that goal.

Fleet vehicles are constantly being right-sized, eliminated or replaced with alternative fuel vehicles. Electric charging stations are being installed across the city.

The City is beginning a Climate Leadership Academy for employees to help enhance the City’s capacity for addressing climate change. Employees from all departments will attend monthly meetings for a year to learn about climate issues and opportunities, personally and professionally. This, and other training opportunities, will ensure that every city employee understands how they can make a difference.

The City has been fortunate to receive Federal support on our climate planning efforts, partnering with Western Water Assessment, part of the NOAA Regional Integrated Science Assessment Program, to conduct climate vulnerability work. This partnership has leveraged our access to actionable data and tools to support climate adaptation decision-making, especially within our water utility.

Due to these aggressive efforts, Salt Lake City has been designated by the White House as a Climate Action Champion.

Citywide & Regional Climate Action

Salt Lake City is launching a metro-regional climate planning group that will look at mitigation and adaptation efforts on a broader, regional basis in a collaborative way.

Other efforts include a Transit Master Plan, Complete Streets Ordinance, protected bike lanes, streetcars and the Mountain Accord planning process.

“Applying the true economic costs of future climate risks will be essential as we make future decisions. One example of this is our work with the State of Utah and regional energy providers to evaluate appropriate costs and account for benefits of renewable energy,” Mayor Becker said. “We need to consider long-term economic, environmental and societal benefits of these investments, not simply short-term decisions that often undervalue climate resilient strategies.”

Moving Forward

Salt Lake City understands that addressing climate change impacts is essential as part of our efforts to achieves our goals to be a livable city. And when we address climate change, we also address air quality, facilitate mobility choices, ensure a safe and abundant water supply, create more walkable neighborhoods and establish a vibrant downtown.

Learn more about our efforts at

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.


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.


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.

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.


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:


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!



It’s Apricot Time & We Need Volunteers!

Trees across Salt Lake City are heavy with ripe, delicious apricots and we need your help to harvest them!

We are in great need for volunteers for harvesting events on the following days:

  • Saturday, July 12 (beginning at 8 a.m.)
  • Monday, July 14
  • Tuesday, July 15

Volunteer teams will help harvest local apricot trees in the Salt Lake City. Volunteers will be able to bring a portion of the harvest home with them to enjoy.

No experience is necessary – training will be done with volunteers on site.

To sign up please email

SLC FruitShare helps to minimize food waste, promote local food production, and enhance the community’s knowledge of fruit trees by engaging local fruit tree owners.

Throughout the year, fruit trees are pruned, thinned and the fruit is then picked and donated to non-profits working on sustainable food and hunger issues (Utahns Against Hunger and Green Urban Lunchbox).