The future of our local water systems is a critical issue in Utah. Indeed, although the state was declared drought free early this May, Utah experienced its driest year on record in 2018 — and this summer may be just as scorching.
Utah typically relies on snow melt runoff stored in mountain reservoirs to survive the hot summers. The past few years, however, Utah’s weather has been unpredictable — from receiving one of the worst drought designations in the nation in October to watching for flooding as the snow pack starts to melt.
Although our rivers are bulging and reservoirs are at capacity, there’s no telling how long the good fortune will last. With this in mind, it’s important to remain conscious of our water usage as summer approaches. Luckily, there are many easy ways to conserve water!
Salt Lake City’s Department of Public Utilities has many resources on their website to help you conserve water. We’ve also put together this handy list:
It’s almost spring and that means the return of one of our favorite annual events– the Intermountain Sustainability Summit held at Weber State University from February 28 – March2! The Summit brings together a wide range of professionals from business, government, non-profits, and education to discuss and envision a sustainable future for our environment, communities, and economy.
Now in its ninth year, the Summit is geared toward engaging students, sustainability practitioners, and the general public in topics such as clean energy infrastructure, green buildings, urban water, and other sustainability topics.
It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn something new, mix and mingle with other sustainability folk, and come away inspired by the many goings-on in Utah and beyond.
On Wednesday evening, February 28, the summit officially kicks off with a free musical performance from the Crossroads Project, a collaboration of the Fry Street Quartet with climate physicist Dr. Robert Davies.
The performance weaves art and science together through music, prose, and stunning visual imagery — photographs by renowned environmental photographer Garth Lenz and paintings by Rebecca Allan and the quartet’s commission of Rising Tide by American composer Laura Kaminsky.
The evening performance is free and open to all who are 8 years old or older.
We’re also very excited about the rest of the Summit including this year’s keynote speaker, Naomi Oreskes, who will take the stage on the Summit’s main day, March 1.
This week’s Clean Air Champion tip is about wood burning.
Even though burning wood is festive at this time of year, it’s a significant polluter (estimated to contribute 5-26% of total pollution on a winter day, according to a presentation from Dr. Kelly Kerry to UCAIR).
Before you burn, make sure to check to see if it’s a no burn day.
The Salt Lake County Health Department prohibits burning solid fuel in fireplaces or wood burning stoves and bans outdoor fires (including bonfires, patiopits, and charcoal grill fires) on days that the State of Utah designates as either mandatory or voluntary air action (no burn) days.
Eat Local Week is back! This fun week, sponsored by a variety of groups including Salt Lake City, is dedicated to helping you eat more local food.
This year there are a number of events that will get you into the local food spirit including lectures, workshops, and even a challenge: Can you eat every meal with food grown or produced in Utah this week?
Food that is produced locally is inherently more sustainable and this event series is a good reminder to take a look at your food habits and consider where your food comes from.
Salt Lake City is proud to unveil a new grant program, offering $85,000 to spur local sustainable farming efforts.
Because just 3 percent of the fruits and 2 percent of the vegetables consumed by residents are grown in Utah, this program aims to support a more resilient local food system.
In partnership with Urban Food Connections of Utah—the non-profit affiliated with the Downtown Alliance– we’ll be granting money to farmers who want to expand their operations with sustainability in mind. Read more
It’s January, and while you might be focusing on a fresh start to the New Year, you may have noticed Salt Lake City’s air has been anything but fresh. It’s something every Salt Lake City resident is familiar with, and whether you call it smog, inversion, pollution, or just plain bad air, each of us can have an impact on our air quality.
Here at Salt Lake City Corp, we’re doing everything we can to clear the air. One of those is an employee alternative transportation challenge! This month, we’re asking all 3,000 of Salt Lake City’s employees to take part by picking at least one day per week to get to work without driving alone in their vehicles.
The City makes this easy by providing full-time employees with transit passes. “Alternative transportation” also means biking or walking to work; finding a carpool buddy; or telecommuting.
The Challenge also extends to other clean air actions through our sustainability platform called Empower SLC, which was designed and is powered by Sustain3.
Here’s how the Clean Air Challenge works: Read more
Here’s another example from our friends to the south: Provo’s Clean Air Toolkit.
In 2014, Provo was awarded a grant by Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) to pursue this project. The toolkit’s goal is to present local residents and businesses with a centralized list of strategies they can use to achieve cleaner air in Utah County, and to make clean air the common goal of Provo City’s strategic planning and operations.
You can check it out at www.provocleanair.org. As you’ll see, it offers a comprehensive guide for individuals, businesses, and municipalities to use to reduce air pollutants, as well as helpful statistics and infographics detailing projections for air quality over the next few decades.