Wednesday, July 30, 2008

That time again - Local Food 2008

The folks over at Eat Local Challenge for Salt Lake City are once again sponsoring a local food challenge for 2008. Utah has abundant resources for aquiring local foods and this challenge is well worth at least a partial attempt at participation.
Drop in over there to learn more.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wind power initiative

The Utah Geological Survey has begun accepting applications from Utah landowners seeking to learn about wind power possibilities on their properties. The UGS will be providing the selected applicants with an anemometer and pole set up in order to measure the wind force and consistency to provide them with a good picture of the potential for wind powered electric power generation. The UGS will be accepting applications from any Utah resident or business until March 1st for those seeking a spring or summer installation, and August 1 for all those seeking a fall installation.
There are two possible tower heights available. 20m and 50m. The 20m poles and anemometer have no cost attached to them for the land owner. The 50m poles, generally for commercial applications, are supplied with anemometer for free but the land owner is responsible for the installation charge. ( $4,000-$5,000)
It's a possitive thing to be recieving support and encouragement from State offices for alternative and renewable energy sources. It's this kind of thinking that is going to help set Utah apart and put us in a positive position against potential future energy crises.

Monday, September 17, 2007

2007 Green Homes Tour

With the Wasatch Mountains rising in the east and the Great Basin and Salt Lake spreading out to the west I can hardly think of a better place to showcase building options and energy sources that are clean and green. Saturday September 22nd that’s exactly what will be happening as “The Green Building Center” of Salt Lake puts on it’s 2007 Green Building Tour of homes in and around the valley that have been either built with or have incorporated some of the greenest ideas and technologies in the home and interior design and construction industries.

Ashley Patterson, owner and founder of the Green Building Center came up with the idea for a green building tour, to help educate and inform people in the community about the methods and products available from cost effective passive solar to top end radiant flooring and alternative building envelopes. At the behest of visitors last year, she and her team have assembled a collection of homes from the area that focus on not only high tech and often expensive technologies, but on the affordable and easily incorporated solutions that can be used by anyone to improve the efficiency of their homes.
The tour will begin on Saturday morning, and the homes will be opened at 10:00am. I encourage anyone in the area to purchase a ticket through the Green Building Center and visit as many homes as they can. Bring a friend and start a dialogue, your eyes may be opened to a new world of possibilities.
For more information and ticket prices and location go to:
Green Homes Tour information

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Local Food Challenge SLC

Today in Salt Lake City a group of people will be taking up a challenge to eat locally; and I don't mean merely going down to the local grocery, or restaurant. To this bunch, led by Andrea and Michael Heidinger of Salt Lake City locally takes on a more literal meaning. They want to eat only foods that are grown and produced within 100 - 250 miles of Salt Lake City. It's no surprise to most of us that much of our foods are grown in other states and in many cased far off countries. The methods of transporting these foods to our tables consume huge amounts of energy mainly in the form of fossil fuels thus adding to the greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere as well as to our dependance on oil.

Nationwide there is a movement of people gravitating toward re-localizing thier diet and eating "slow food". Many embrace this idea for it's benefit in reducing harmful greenhouse gasses, some to support local agriculture and others to take back control of their diet and decide what is truly in the foods that they feed their families. Whatever the reason I agree with it. It can only benefit a person, family, community to support their local economy and to control their diet.

I encourage you to explore this idea further and agree with the Heidingers suggestion to take a first step if you haven't considered this before, or take a step futher if you are already trying this to some degree. You'll learn more about your community, potentially make some new friends, and help move us towards a greener Utah.

You can read more about the Heidingers and the local food challenge here:

Thursday, August 16, 2007

aGreenerUtah: Mission

What is "Green"? With so much talk and publicity around this word lately it can be understandably hard to pin it down. Some groups look at it as a purely environmental issue, some as fodder for political change and to some it is a complete lifestyle choice and social movement; still others take it as merely a marketing ploy to make one item stand out amongst the crowd. For my purposes and for those of aGreenerUtah, the idea of Green is something of a combination of all of these.

I see Greening as a necessary environmental issue of course. In Utah we are blessed to live within easy access of many of the countries great natural wonders. Zion, Bryce Canyon and Lake Powel in the south and the Wasatch and Uinta mountains and Great Salt Lake in the north to name but a few. Without concern for our environment and without a committed and personal effort to minimize our impact on it, our grandchildren will not be able to see and enjoy these places as we and previous generations have. To some degree I also see Greening as fodder for political change. I give a great deal of power to the people of a state for directing the way in which that state views and acts towards issues of a “Green” nature. That is to say that I believe the greatest power for political change is within each of us as citizens of our state. We have the ability to vote for and support the politicians and policies that reflect our views, and we have the responsibility to act according to our beliefs. That being said, I also believe it is also the right of all citizens to determine where on the scale of their respective belief systems each issue falls. I disagree with using Greening as a white-wash or “green-wash” technique for both politicians (Who try to look more environmentally conscious than they really are to engender votes.) as well as special interest groups (That may have ulterior motives but adopt the green mantle to ride the current wave of public sentiment.) I do see greening as a complete lifestyle choice and burgeoning social movement. As I said before, we have the responsibility to act according to our beliefs. If those beliefs include providing a healthier environment both in our homes as well as in our community, making changes in our lives to reduce our impact on the world around us and trying to pass on those ideas and educate others about possibilities and alternatives, then we should act on those. As far as using the term Green for marketing, I agree with its use only in so much as it implies a particular state of being. When one hears that something or someone is Green, that person understands and can make a certain number of assumptions based on that alone. However, because of the amount of overuse of this particular phrase, it can be taken as a bit cliché; nonetheless because of its universal and cultural implications it is a fitting and appropriate term to be used within both the name and the content of aGreenerUtah.

Within the internets Green community there are a vast and varied, yet still related, number of interests and movements. However, in my observation, there is no one unifying body. By this I mean that I can search for information on alternative power and find a number of local resources, or I could look for techniques or suppliers for green building methods and also find quite a few local resources. Still further I could look for resources regarding eating locally and supporting local agriculture and find information on that; this is to name but a few. I have yet to find a unifying entity that deals with the spectrum, the complete lifestyle. There are many people in our families and our communities that are interested in this information but don’t know where to begin. Wouldn’t it benefit us, as well as the community, to be able to consolidate this information in a single source? Not necessarily to provide all of the information, but to provide access to all of the information, a repository of sorts, a place where one could find resources to help them in their move towards a more sustainable, lower impact, “Greener” life.

My vision for aGreenerUtah is one that has it serve primarily as a source for information, news and ideas. It will provide informative and relevant commentary and facts on a number of sustainability and lifestyle issues including, but not limited to

• Sustainable Alternative Energy
• Sustainable, Healthy Building Methods and Products
• Organic Local Foods and Gardening
• Related Local Businesses
• Relevant Local Issues and Stories

I am not now and never have been an expert in these fields. I am passionate about them, and am equally passionate about sharing the knowledge that I have, as well as that which I will attain. A Greener Utah will encourage the sharing of ideas, information and experiences so that together we can move toward the goal of building a stronger community network of people, businesses and organizations that embrace the idea of a more sustainable Green Utah.