As we celebrate the 5th Annual Utah Climate Week, it is a great time to take stock of the ways we can act on climate at home. In our last post, we talked about the importance of energy efficiency. The cheapest and most “renewable” energy is the energy we don’t waste.
After you’ve made energy efficiency improvements to your home, it’s time to look at the type of fuel you’re using to power it!
As our electricity sources get cleaner, moving towards partially or fully electrifying your home is one of the many ways you can use to reduce your carbon footprint, as well as reduce local air pollution. When we advocate for building electrification, we mean switching to using all-electric appliances and heating/cooling systems in your home.
Building electrification can be accomplished at any stage — whether you are updating an old or broken appliance, renovating your space, building a new home, or just looking for ways to live more sustainably.
Benefitting the Environment
It may come as a surprise, but choosing energy efficient electric appliances and scaling-back the use of natural gas, heating oil and other fossil fuels will significantly reduce your household’s greenhouse gas emissions.
You might be thinking: But if my electric grid is powered primarily by fossil fuels, how will switching out my gas appliances for electric lower my carbon footprint? The short answer is energy efficiency and a grid transitioning to renewable sources.
It’s Utah Climate Week, which means that there are opportunities statewide to get involved with climate action in Utah.
But taking steps to help the environment can also start at home. Improving at-home energy efficiency will help you shrink your carbon footprint and save money.
Why Energy Efficiency Matters
According to the EPA, around 40% of energy use in the United States is for generating electricity. Salt Lake City is working to move towards net-100% renewable electricity for the entire community by 2030. This means that more renewable energy will be fed into the grid, helping power everything from your lights to your phone chargers. But in the meantime, taking steps to improve your energy efficiency will go a long way to save energy!
For example, switching to a low flow showerhead may seem simple, but it can help you save $18 annually and cut 250 pounds of CO2, not to mention the water savings.
Using a power strip to avoid energy vampires like phone chargers can help you save $96 per year and cuts 1,200 pounds of CO2!
And washing your laundry in cold water can save 1,270 pounds of CO2 annually and $92!
Reducing your energy use cuts down on emissions that contribute to global warming as well as local air pollution. As a result, energy conservation and efficiency can help build a healthier and more resilient community.
September 26th to October 2nd marks the 5th annual Utah Climate Week! In Utah, we’ve experienced extreme heat, drought, and smoke from nearby wildfires all summer. Climate Week is an opportunity to work with local leaders to identify the impacts of climate change locally, and collaborate on solutions to ensure an equitable and resilient future for all Utahns.
Climate Week is organized by the Utah Climate Action Network, consists of local governments, non-profits, faith based organizations, businesses, and individuals who are working to build a more sustainable community. Each year, Climate Week gives us a chance to connect with each other and find solutions to the threat of climate change.
We need everyone’s help to Act on Climate in Utah and around the globe. There are many ways to take action, including investing in solar panels at your home, reducing your meat consumption, being mindful about energy use around the house, and finding ways to improve air quality like taking public transit or biking rather than driving.
Whether you’re a seasoned environmental advocate or you’re just starting out, Utah Climate Week is a chance to learn about the unique issues Utah faces as human caused climate change impacts our health, access to food, livelihoods, and communities. Participating in Utah Climate Week can help you find ways to Act On Climate all year.
So far 2020 has been a record year for climate-related natural disasters. Alongside the global coronavirus pandemic, severe weather like what we experienced with last week’s wind storm, record breaking temperatures in August, and fires burning throughout the Western United States, have shown us first-hand the effects of climate change in our backyards.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to call attention to climate change– and the urgency of taking action at all levels.
We’re in luck because the Fourth Annual Utah Climate Week is coming up from September 21 – September 27 and offers everyone the platform not only to learn and engage, but also to call attention to climate change during what has seemed like a year of jumping from one immediate crisis to another.
So many people are struggling and so many are exhausted with all 2020 is bringing to bear on our communities. We hear that and we feel it too.
And that’s exactly why we must continue looking at the big picture, and to draw the connections between immediate events and the larger harm we’re doing to our planet.
This year’s Climate Week will be a little different– there won’t be in-person events, but there are a suite of interesting and engaging events taking place online and we hope to see you at one or more of them.
Then join us on social media to highlight why you care about climate change. Use the tags #UtahClimateWeek and #ActOnClimate to call attention to this issue!
If you’re not a big social media user, take the opportunity to do some learning, then perhaps have a conversation with your friends, family, or other networks. Whatever you do: Learn. Activate. Engage. Let’s go!
We’ve been involved in planning and coordinating one event in particular and we’d like to invite you to attend.
The Utah Sustainable Business Coalition and the Salt Lake City e2 Business Program are hosting a panel discussion on how local businesses of all sizes are working to improve sustainability at their companies.
As we have noted in previous blogposts, sustainability and resiliency intersect with environmental, social, economic, and equity work.
Communities of color are disproportionately affected by climate change. In Utah, the health threats of air pollution are the most obvious example. On a global scale, climate change and pollution are affecting us all, especially coupled with COVID-19, starting with communities who are already experiencing systemic racism and inequity.
Because these areas of life are directly connected, it is important to take action on every level. Individuals; businesses; and local, state, and national governments have an important role to play in addressing inequity and supporting sustainability.
From September 29th through October 5th, Utah is celebrating the 3rd Annual Utah Climate Week.
Organized by Utah Climate Action Network, Utah Climate Week brings government, non-profits, academic institutions, faith-based organizations, businesses, and individuals together to address the impact of climate change in our communities. Utah Climate Week highlights the importance of collaborative climate action towards long-term resilience.
With workshops, panel discussions, film screenings, and local restaurant participation, Utah Climate Week 2019 emphasizes the impact of climate change on Utah and provides many opportunities to share ideas to address the challenges.
October is the month for falling leaves, cooler breezes and– now in its second year– Utah Climate Week!
Why Climate Week?
According to the latest National Climate Assessment, global temperatures will rise by some amount this century. The extent of the increase, however, will depend on how aggressively global society can rein in greenhouse gas emissions.
This change in the climate is already contributing to existing extreme weather patterns all over the world.
The National Weather Service tweeted a record 131 days in 2018 that temperatures in the Salt Lake City area did not dip below 50 degrees F.
Climate change is clearly a concern to our public safety, natural resources, and economic development. But we can all play a role in amplifying the message that it’s time to take action. We can also look at our daily routines and make small changes that add up to meaningful emissions reductions.
These are the goals behind the Second Annual Utah Climate Week.
Utah Climate Week is hosted by the Utah Climate Action Network, a partnership that aims to reduce emissions, enhance resiliency, and engage individuals and local leaders within our state.
Welcome to SLCgreen Connections, an occasional series highlighting SLCgreen’s fantastic local partners—the people and organizations with whom we work closely to make Salt Lake City a greener, more vibrant, and sustainable city!
This week we sat down with Chandler Rosenberg, Managing Director of Plant Based Utah, to talk about meat, the environment, and their upcoming events. Plant Based Utah is a local plant-based nutrition advocacy group.
Chandler Rosenberg, Managing Director of the non-profit Plant Based Utah.
What if you could improve your health, save money, and lower your carbon footprint, all with one simple lifestyle change? It’s possible – by eating less meat and transitioning to a plant-based diet. That’s the message Plant Based Utah is working to spread.
They had been studying preventative nutrition for years and found that a plant-based diet could prevent and even reverse some of the various chronic diseases and conditions they came across every day.Read more
We’re in the middle of Climate Week in Utah! Our events have been a great success so far and we are looking forward to the rest of the week’s activities.
Today we want to focus on what you can do to combat climate change. Of course, national and international policies make a huge difference in how many emissions global society ultimately cuts in the coming years.
Misinformation on climate change is all-too-prevalent. Be informed. Check multiple sources focusing on articles which cite and list scientific studies. Here is a sample of some reputable sites, documentaries, and books:
SLCgreen staff member Tyler Poulson on a tour of a large solar farm in Parowan, Utah, 2015.
Check out Tyler Poulson, Salt Lake City’s sustainability program manager, on the HEAL Utah podcast! He chats with HEAL’s Matt Pacenza about several key climate and energy issues including Utah Climate Week, coming up October 8-14. Tyler also offers his take on the recent rooftop solar settlement reached between Rocky Mountain Power and other stakeholders.
Organized by the Utah Climate Action Network, Utah Clean Energy, and Salt Lake City, Climate Week will provide an inspiring opportunity for community members to learn of the risks and breakthrough solutions to climate change.
Mayor Biskupski will offer opening remarks on our Climate Positive goals and SLCgreen team member Tyler Poulson will participate on the panel discussing what cities in Utah are doing to transition to clean energy. Other panelists include HEAL Utah, the Sierra Club, and Rocky Mountain Power. Utah Clean Energy will moderate the discussion.