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Posts tagged ‘slcgreen’

Donate Fresh Food and Build Community: Register your Trees or Volunteer with SLC FruitShare

Every summer, across the valley, fresh fruit goes to waste, falling off of neighborhood trees and rotting on sidewalks and in backyards. The good news is that with an abundance of fruit trees, Salt Lake City is in a unique position to cut down on waste and provide affordable access to healthy food.

That’s how the Fruitshare program was born. Salt Lake City worked with the non-profit Green Urban Lunch Box (GULB) to launch this program several years ago with the goal of reducing food waste and providing healthy fruit to residents in need. SLCgreen has also supported the program financially until it became self-sustaining.

Since then the program has expanded beyond Salt Lake City, to include other areas along the Wasatch Front.

In 2017, volunteers with the Green Urban Lunch Box harvested over 50,000 pounds of fresh, locally grown fruit from local trees. Wow!

But they need your help to do even more.

Fresh Plumbs from the FruitShare

What is the SLC FruitShare?

Instead of losing the fruit to the landfill, the SLC FruitShare will bring volunteers to harvest your fruit for you! If you have a tree or orchard that produces an abundance of fruit each year, you can register you trees and help strengthen our local food system.

Here’s how it works:

  • GULB volunteers harvest the fruit
  • FruitShare participants (the homeowners) will receive one-third of what’s gathered.
  • The other two-thirds is split between the FruitShare volunteers and hunger relief programs.
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Washed Ashore: Art Exhibit at Hogle Zoo Emphasizes Plastic Reduction to Save Our Waterways

by SLCgreen intern Sarah Hogg

Today the Hogle Zoo launches a new animal exhibit, but these animals are a bit different from the rest.

The exhibit’s animals are made up plastic debris washed up on the shore of the Oregon coast. The colorful sculptures make a bold statement about plastic pollution in our oceans and its impact on marine life.

From May 24 to September 30, visitors to Salt Lake City’s Hogle Zoo will come face to face with fifteen sculptures built entirely out of plastic trash. The sculptures are located throughout the zoo grounds. 

Artist and art educator Angela Haseltine Possi created Washed Ashore to raise awareness about the detrimental effects of plastic within the ecosystem. Possi spent many summers on the beaches of Oregon when she was young, which fostered her love of nature. But over time, she noticed the massive amounts of plastic and trash that washed up on the shore. Possi decided to educate herself about plastic pollution and the impact it has on marine life. Her research inspired her to help in the way that she knew how—by creating art.

And so, the Washed Ashore Project was born. Volunteers who work on the Washed Ashore Project join forces to clean up beaches on the Oregon coast, process the debris, and then create the sculptures representing marine life. To this day, over 10,000 volunteers have contributed to this ongoing project.

The exhibit travels across the country to educate viewers about the dangers of plastic waste in our oceans to the marine life, and what they can do to help.

Each of the animals on display represents an animal impacted by marine debris. For example, one of the sculptures is a billowing jellyfish. Hungry sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish– a staple in their diet. The mistake can be deadly for the sea turtles. This piece serves to spark conversation about the negative impacts of plastic bags and the importance of reusable alternatives.

Jellyfish sculpture.
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Interested in Joining a New Community Garden?

Growing fresh greens at the Gateway Community Garden, which opened in 2018.

Community gardens provide Salt Lake City with fresh, locally grown food and a vibrant space to connect with our neighbors. Salt Lake City’s community gardens are popular locations for everything from volunteering to learning about urban farming. Indeed, in conjunction with Wasatch Community Gardens (WCG), Salt Lake City has successfully developed seven community gardens in almost every corner of the city through our Green City Growers program.

These gardens include the Off Broadway Community Garden, Liberty Wells, Rose Park, Cannon Greens, 9-Line, Popperton Plots, and the Gateway Garden. Not only do these gardens support Salt Lake City’s dedication to increase local food production, they invigorate our neighborhoods by putting vacant lots to use in ways that support community engagement and biodiversity — all while limiting our communities’ carbon footprints.

Salt Lake City’s community gardens activate our neighborhoods, giving residents a space to engage with friends and neighbors and to grow fresh produce. And we just can’t get enough of them!

In order to continue to make community gardens accessible and ensure that locally grown food stays a priority, both Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County have proposed new community gardens to be built in 2020.

But the City, County, and WCG can’t do it alone. We need a strong show of support from nearby residents, indicating that the gardens will receive enough use.

Salt Lake City is working with WCG to establish Richmond Park Community Garden. Similarly, Salt Lake County and WCG are collaborating on a new garden in Sugar House Park. You can read more about the gardens below. If you would be interested in gardening at either of these parks, sign the petitions below to show your support.

Richmond Park

Salt Lake City highlighted Richmond Park for a potential garden. The park, which already has a fantastic playground, is nestled between 500 and 400 East along 600 South in downtown Salt Lake City.

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Say “No” to Pesticides to Protect Your Health

by Sydney Boogaard, SLCgreen intern

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

Common diseases that have affected public’s health in the 21st century include asthma, autism, birth defects, reproductive dysfunction, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and several types of cancer. They all have ties to pesticide exposure and there are many more that are directly connected to pesticide exposure.

Recent studies show that most homes in the United States have measurable amounts of pesticide residue in the home.

Children in particular are at a higher risk of exposure to these chemicals, due to their size and exploratory nature. They are more prone to place household items and objects that could be contaminated into their hands and mouths. Kids enjoying playing in the dirt, rolling around in the grass, and climbing trees; all potential sources for pesticide interaction. Compared to adults, children also have a proportionally higher intake of food, water, and air, further increasing their chemical exposure.

By limiting your pesticide and chemical fertilizer use you are reducing their exposures, providing a safe and healthy home for yourself and your loved ones. We hope you will go Pesticide Free this growing season and take The Pledge to be a #PesticideFreeSLC.

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Check Out our New Trucks!

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Help us make SLC Plastic Free by keeping plastic bags out of curbside containers. Say no to single-use bags and yes to reusable!

By Jack Hurty, SLCgreen intern

 

Salt Lake City’s often under-appreciated workhorses are getting a makeover – and an educational one at that. Six of our recycling trucks recently received a new body wrap, pictured above.

Their visibility is key to educating the public about what can and cannot be recycled.

There have been big changes rocking the recycling world lately and plastic bags are one of the most significant sources of “contamination.”

Besides these bright new wraps, the trucks are state-of-the-art waste management machines.

Not only do they run on low-emission Clean Natural Gas (CNG) and clean diesel, but they are equipped with an on-board trash compactor, an array of cameras, and a mechanical arm to pick up and empty recycling bins.

Every week, these trucks travel to all corners of the city, making sure that our waste is taken care of.

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Be(e) Pesticide Free for Pollinators!

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by Sydney Boogaard, SLCgreen intern

Spring and summer weather is welcomed with open arms after cold grey winters. Maybe, it’s getting back into the mountains to hike, bike, and sightsee; or spending time in the yard gardening, barbecuing, and playing fetch.

Whatever it is you enjoy outside this season we hope you have the privilege of seeing some beautiful pearl crescent butterflies, ruby-throated hummingbirds, or fuzzy honeybees. We encourage you to admire and celebrate their presence—for they provide us with vital plant reproduction and are essential to our natural and agricultural ecosystems.

Unfortunately, the population of these important pollinators is on a troublesome decline. In 2007, the National Research Council reported on that one of the sources of this decline is connected to pesticide exposure. Pesticides contain many chemicals that reduce pollinators’ defense systems, disrupt digestion, impair their navigation abilities, and limit their ability to reproduce.

Thus, we hope you will joins us in protecting our honeybees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and all pollinators by going Pesticide Free! Join us in thanking them for their crucial services by giving them the best shot at a healthy and productive life — say no to pesticides and take the Pesticide Free Pledge.  

The Honeybee

Honeybees have been around for millions and millions of years. During this time  they have provided humans with their wax, honey, and pollinating services.

Did you know honeybees are the only insect that produce food that humans eat? They travel up to six miles in a trip and fly up to 15 miles per hour, all while beating their wings 200 times per second—talk about a workout.  Over time, bees have also learned to communicate with one another through dance. They communicate a sense of time, direction, and distance to convey the location of promising pollen and nectar. Needless to say, these creatures are incredibly impressive. Read more

Tips to Remove Pesky Weeds

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“Weeds, oh what glorious beautiful weeds!” –said no homeowner ever.

They appear from what seems like nowhere and after all the hard work that goes into caring for our yards, they are often the last thing we want to see sprouting up.

But as you get to know the type of weeds in your yard you can begin to understand the condition it is in. Weeds can indicate what your lawn needs to be healthy and naturally resistant to weeds, pests, and further problems.

Ironically, one of the culprits of an unhealthy lawn is the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. They restrict water flow and inhibit proper air circulation in soil. High nitrogen fertilizers disturb soil’s natural nutrition balance, increase turf growth, and accelerate the need to mow. Additionally, soil needs microorganisms, earthworms, and other insects to keep it happy and healthy; pesticides kill these much-needed friends.

By going pesticide free, you can improve your lawn and landscape by mimicking a natural ecosystem and allowing your lawn and garden to flourish organically. We hope you will take the pledge to go pesticide free and make a commitment to our health, environment, and ecosystem.

Read on to learn more about simple and effective ways to thwart and defeat weed growth—without nasty chemicals that affect our pets, kids, pollinators, and waterways.

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