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Posts tagged ‘sustainability efforts’

Explore the Jordan River Parkway

by SLCgreen intern Atticus Olmedo

From Bear Lake and Antelope Island to Timpanogos and Goblin Valley, Utah is a hotbed for hiking trails and natural excursions. But for many, the Jordan River Parkway doesn’t immediately come to mind as a prime recreational destination. This may be a result of the Parkway’s location, locked between the suburban enclaves and urban centers. But don’t be fooled. People, organizations, and governments have rallied behind the Jordan River Parkway’s potential with a vision for sustainability.

And this month is all about celebrating the Jordan River with a month full of activities. Let’s dig in!

The Jordan River System

Thousands of years ago when Lake Bonneville was receding, the river wound its way through ancient sediments left by the prehistoric lake. Eventually, the river helped establish pond and wetlands. Today, the Jordan River flows approximately 50 miles from Utah Lake north towards the Great Salt Lake’s wetlands. The river is primarily fed from the creeks that travel through the Salt Lake Valley.

The ecology of the river has evolved considerably. Because the river collects water from streams throughout the valley, it also collects pollution and detritus. However, thanks to restoration efforts, the parkway and river have become more hospitable for natural and recreational use.

The river is lined with deciduous oaks, aspens, willows, and cottonwood trees. Invertebrates provide an important source of food for other river species, particularly native carp and trout. Prior to urbanization, coyotes, big-horned sheep, wolves, and mule deer made the river their home. Now, raccoons, red foxes, jackrabbits, and common muskrat can be spotted in the habitat. Birds including magpies, sparrow hawks, and even pheasants are also common.

A bike trail along the parkway

Nature in our Backyards

For the fitness and nature enthusiasts alike, The Jordan River Parkway Trail offers a low-cost fitness and natural excursion option to locals who may not have the means to access far away wildlife areas.

Read more

Le Croissant: Caterers with a Green Mission

Businesses around Salt Lake City are “greening” their operations with the help of our e2 programLe Croissant Catering is one of those success stories we just had to share!

LeCroissantCatering

From purchasing renewable energy through the Blue Sky program, to retrofitting their workspace with high-efficiency lighting, and now exploring options for a more efficient heating and cooling system, Le Croissant has worked diligently to reduce their environmental impact. Of all the changes that this company has made, perhaps the most notable is the sustainability efforts to green their waste stream. Previously, items like food waste, disposable utensils, and basic trash materials were put into an overflowing dumpster and everything was sent to the landfill.

Through consultation with Momentum Recycling, another e2 business member, Le Croissant’s now saves 90% of waste from the landfill. They do this with separate containers for mixed stream recycling, green waste, glass, & landfill. This not only allows for Le Croissant to maximize the amount of material that gets recycled, but director Chris Sanchez says that it has made the waste pick-up area of the business much cleaner.

Avoid the landfill
Of course, such a dramatic transformation of their waste stream required that the employees be educated about what can be recycled, and how to ensure that the correct material finds its way into the proper receptacles. Le Croissant accomplished this by placing clearly marked signs on various containers throughout the kitchen and office spaces so that each employee can see what goes in each container.

Changes were made in the kitchen, too. Employees have access to a large container within arm’s reach where they can put food scraps that will be transferred to the green waste containers. Sanchez says that the employees have fully embraced this new model, and appreciate that the company has made recycling a business priority.

Temporary Food Waste Bin

However, as a catering business, much of their work takes place off-site, away from their array of recycling containers. They continue their efforts off-site by using their own re-usable plates and utensils whenever possible to minimize the production of waste. When this is not an option, Le Croissant features biodegradable materials made from bamboo and corn starch.

Le Croissant also works with local farmers to provide local ingredients in their food, and they make a conscientious effort to partner with other organizations that prioritize sustainability practices.

All of these efforts have proven not only important to the staff of Le Croissant, but to their clients as well. Sanchez says that many of their new clients have approached them not only for their excellent services as a catering company, but because of their strong sustainability commitment. Likewise, many of their previous clients have maintained their loyalty to the company based on these efforts.

LeCroissantTeam

We’d like to thank Le Croissant for their bold and diligent contribution to sustainability practices and for paving the way for a greener Salt Lake City.