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Posts tagged ‘#whywasteit?’

Drink Local: Reduce Your Water Footprint

By drinking local water, you can reduce your water footprint and your carbon footprint.  Bottled water has several negative impacts on the environment.  Bottle production, distribution, packaging, and transportation contribute to unnecessary water and carbon footprints.  Additionally, most plastic water bottles are not recycled, contributing to the waste stream and often ending up as litter and ocean pollution.  Drinking water in the US is well tested and safe to drink.  Drink local and avoid bottled water!

Check out this Bottled Water Footprint infographic by Wheels for Wishes to learn more:

Reduce Your Water Footprint by Wheels For Wishes

Master Recycler Fall Session

By Josh Lipman, SLCgreen Intern

After the first successful round of training members of our community to be experts in recycling, SLCgreen and the Department of Sanitation are opening up applications for the second round of the Master Recycler training program.

Participants in the Master Recycler program take a hands on approach to learning about sustainable waste management in Salt Lake City by studying and experiencing the most up to date recycling techniques through classroom sessions and visits to the different waste management and recycling facilities in our city. Master Recyclers then can educate and engage the community, creating a network of environmentally consciousness Salt Lake City residents.

The fall Master Recycler class runs eight Thursdays from September 3rd to October 22nd. Applications are rolling and through August 28th (dates subject to change), and the class is free of charge. All community members are encouraged to register and come learn about these key systems in the city by emailing John Boulanger at john.boulanger@slcgov.com.

Salt Lake Master Recycler Fall Flyer

E-Waste Collection Events

Salt Lake City is having a series of free e-waste collection events this summer.  Bring things like old computers, mobile phones and televisions.  Pharmaceutical waste will also be collected.

The next collection event is this Saturday, June 20th at Smith’s, 1174 W 600 N from 8:00am to noon.

Additional Saturday collection events:

  • July 18th, 876 E 800 S
  • August 15th, 455 S 500 E

For more e-waste information, visit our Electronics Recycling webpage.

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Salt Lake County is also hosting free collection events for e-waste and other household hazardous waste on Thursdays throughout the summer.  See flyer below for details.

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Earth Day, Every Day!

Earth-Day-Banner

Here are some #EarthDayEveryDay tips for Earth week!

Monday– Meatless Mondays!

Tuesday– Transportation Tuesdays

Wednesday– Wildlife Wednesdays

Thursday– Green Thumb Thursdays

  • Tend to your garden today. Or start a garden! Spring is the perfect time to plant in Salt Lake City!
  • Need gardening space? Consider community gardening! 

Friday– Idle Free Fridays

Saturday– Crafty Saturday- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

  • Go to a yard sale, host a clothing swap, find a new use for something you were going to throw away, buy a used item instead of a new item!
  • Crafty Saturday upcycle ideas! 

Sunday– Solar SUNdays

  • Try to abstain from using one thing that depends on fossil fuels today (like your car or heater)!
  • Learn something new about solar power today:

“Obama touts solar initiative” 

“The world is now adding more capacity for renewable power each year than coal, natural gas, and oil combined.” 

Vancouver commits to 100% renewable energy use! 

On the cost of renewable energy. 

Happy Earth Day from SLCgreen!  #EarthDayEveryDay

Donate an Unwanted Vehicle

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Looking for a good cause to donate your unwanted car or truck (or motorcycle, SUV, RV, or even boat!)? Wheels for Wishes is a donation program benefiting Make-A-Wish® Utah. Turn your donated vehicle into a wish for a local child. Vehicles will be picked up free of charge, anywhere in Utah, running or not!

Vehicles are either recycled or auctioned off, and 100% of the net proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish Utah. Since Wheels for Wishes is a tax-exempt charity, donors also receive the maximum possible tax deduction for their vehicle donation.

Visit wheelsforwishes.org or Make-A-Wish Utah for more information.

Five Quick Tips for a Greener Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, delicious food and great company. Unfortunately this most American of holidays can generate a lot of waste: food waste, disposable plates, plastic utensils and cups, and wasted energy.

Here are five quick tips to reduce waste and focus on the things that matter.

1. An Organic Bird: When it comes to buying the holiday turkey, we recommend buying an organic bird. Look for labels saying, “USDA certified organic” or “No Antibiotics Administered” with a “USDA Process Verified” seal. e2 Business Liberty Heights Fresh offers some great options.

2. Local Sides: Swing by the Winter Farmers Market this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Rio Grande Depot to pick up local greens, squash, root vegetables, etc. Also, think about minimizing your use of meat in recipes — vegetarian dishes have a lower carbon footprint. For recipe suggestions, visit our Green Thanksgiving Pinterest board.

3. Durable Tableware: We understand the temptation, but please resist the urge to purchase single-use table settings. After their one use, they go right to the landfill where they take years to degrade (if they ever!) If you’re hosting, ask your guests to pitch in to help wash dishes. If you’re headed to a celebration away from your home, pack up some silverware, plates, and cups (or a water bottle) and bring them along. The extra ten seconds it takes to pack up your own dishes saves landfill space and energy.

4. Creative Leftovers: Thanksgiving dinner is wonderful, but we all know that there is plenty of food left over after the big meal. If you’re planning to take some leftovers home with you, bring along a few empty glass food containers from home, which will eliminate the need for disposable containers. You can also minimize food waste by turning your turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and other foodstuff into innovative leftover recipes. Dispose of spoiled fruits and vegetables food in a compost bin.

5. Compost and Recycle: For those hosting Thanksgiving meals, be sure to clearly mark bins for recycling and composting. This will eliminate the build-up of trash in your home and will keep unnecessary waste out of the landfill.

For more information, visit these websites:

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.