November 1, 2011

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Green Business Awards

Paying Tribute to the Organizations Planting Seeds for a Greener Future

Heather Stewart, Di Lewis, Sarah Ryther Francom

November 1, 2011

Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District

Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District (JVWCD) began its water conservation campaign in 1999 after realizing the need to extend its existing water supplies. The campaign began as a community education initiative, with programs like Conservation Garden Park and Garden Fairs showcasing water-wise landscapes. After experiencing high visitation rates, Jordan Valley decided to enhance its water conservancy educational efforts and expanded the gardens to include interactive exhibits that demonstrate how residents can actually create their own water-wise landscape. The organization’s efforts have led to the accumulation of a 50-year water supply.

“Existing water sources are simply inadequate to meet the future demand for water. The only way to provide enough water to meet future demand is by developing new sources of water and through water conservation,” says Courtney Brown, JVWCD’s conservation programs manager. “Along with a 50-year water supply and development plan, Jordan Valley also has a goal to reduce water use 25 percent on a per capita basis by 2025. In order to achieve this, water conservation must become a long-term ethic and way of life among the communities we serve.”

Salt Lake City Corporation – Recycling Program

When Salt Lake City started its first curbside recycling program in 1993, only 10 percent of residents participated. The program’s popularity quickly grew among residents and by 1996, more than 75 percent of residents were participating. By 2001, nearly 100 percent were participating. Today the city’s efforts have grown beyond curbside recycling to include curbside yard waste recycling and glass recycling programs; in fact, Salt Lake City now aims to recycle or compost 50 percent of its waste.

“In a sustainable community, waste is not a problem to be disposed of, but a resource to be used and reused. Recycling and composting saves money and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing the consumption of raw materials and energy used during manufacturing, transportation and disposal,” says Debbie Lyons, Salt Lake City’s recycling program manager. “Salt Lake City’s sustainability mission is to ensure the future livability of our community through resource conservation, reducing pollution and slowing climate change. We cannot leave our future to chance.”

Salt Lake City’s recycling program is just one of many green community initiatives. The city has seen wide success in programs such as Clear the Air Challenge and Idle Free Utah.

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