November 2022


Call for Speaker & Artist Proposals for the Intermountain Sustainability Summit 

This year’s theme, Connect & Amplify Impact, invites presenters to focus on how connections and collaborations increase the impact of our shared endeavors, especially those which reframe our collective challenges as opportunities for new pathways forward.    

Grounded in growing sustainability successes, yet mindful of the work ahead, we are seeking proposals ranging from practical no-nonsense solutions to previously unimagined possibilities. As solutions range widely, we welcome diverse topics, including clean energy, water, air, land, transportation, policy, recycling, buildings, and other topics. Additionally, we are seeking proposals exploring ways to effectively work together; from how to empower our communities and co-workers, to keeping ourselves healthy and sustainably engaged. Topics may include: community engagement, social and environmental justice, self-care, effective communication, mindfulness, and professional development, among other subjects that support and advance sustainability in the region. 

Help shape the 2023 Intermountain Sustainability Summit (ISS). All proposals are due Friday, December 2nd.

Sustainability Courses This Spring

Keep an eye out during spring registration for courses labeled with the SUS attribute. These courses will include sustainability learning outcomes and range in subjects from across campus such as English, healthcare, psychology, botany, economics, construction, and more! Over 40 courses, lower and upper division as well as in general education, will be available this spring including Nutrition & Sustainable Cooking (NUTR 1240), Sustainable Woodblock Printmaking (ART 4920), Conservation Biology (ZOOL 3500), and Environmental Health (MICR 3502)! To learn more and see a comprehensive class list please visit our website.

Voice Your Thoughts in the Future of the Great Salt Lake Survey

Utah State University is conducting an open public survey of Utah residents about the future of Great Salt Lake. All Utah residents over 18 years of age are encouraged to participate. The Future of Great Salt Lake Survey, will take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete and responses are anonymous. The survey will remain open through Jan. 31, 2023.

Stay Warm while Cutting Your Energy Bills

Weber State’s Empower Northern Utah program is offering residents free and discounted smart thermostats this season. Free Nest E Thermostats are available for low to moderate income households, and discounted thermostats are available for all, for under $67 (originally $169).

Weber State’s Sustainability team is partnering with the H.E.A.T. program, and others, to make staying warm this season less expensive and more comfortable, while protecting our environment. The Nest E Thermostat turns itself down when you are away from your home, and back on as you head home. You are able to control your home’s temperature with the Nest App (or by voice for those with an Alexia unit at home). Having more control and automatic functions, allows you to cut heating and cooling bills. Using a Nest E Thermostat saves the average U.S. household over $130 a year, while reducing electric and natural gas use.

Thermostat upgrades have the additional benefit of keeping Utah’s wintertime air cleaner by reducing natural gas emissions from furnaces. Supplies are limited, and are offered on a first come first serve basis, so visit for more information and to reserve your energy saving smart thermostat.

Volunteers Xeriscape at WSU Campus

On October 5, Weber State held its Service Day of Remembrance Xeriscaping event. Xeriscaping is the process of landscaping with drought tolerant plants to conserve water and reduce maintenance. Xeriscaping is a landscaping alternative to grass lawns. The word “Xeros” is Greek for dry, which translates to dry-scaping. This alternative landscape is built for our dry climate. 

The October Xeriscaping event was hosted by the WSU Landscapers, Community Engaged Learning (CEL), the WSU Student Association, and the Sustainable Clubs. This event was also made possible by the 53 volunteers who participated! You can view the results of this Xeriscaping project on the east side of the W7 parking lot. 

To learn more about upcoming events, visit this link,

Ogden River Cleanup Made a Difference 

On October 15, a bright and beautiful fall day, 71 people, mostly WSU students with a few faculty and staff spent up to four hours each picking up litter of all sorts from along a stretch of Ogden River Parkway from Rainbow Gardens down toward the 21st Street Pond, as well as along the banks and, in some instances, from within the river.  Cigarette butts were abundant among the litter.  Collected materials also included plastic items of various shapes and sizes, plastic bags, packaging, a couch which was submerged in the river, and dilapidated shopping carts.  In total, the team removed 1,200 pounds of waste from the river corridor.

The event was a collaborative effort on the part of the Department of Geography, Environment & Sustainability, the WSU Student Association’s Community Engagement team, and Ogden City (which provided the dumpster and kept the restrooms open at the Adventure Park).  Thanks to all who helped.

WSU Research Working to Keep Kids Safe

WSU students measured heat levels at playgrounds this fall to gain knowledge that could help kids stay safe in coming years. 

Students in Geography 3050, Weather and Climate, measured the temperatures of playground equipment throughout Ogden City parks to see just how hot our parks really get.  Students used infrared thermometers to take their measurements, and found that the hottest equipment (plastic slides) reached 158 Fahrenheit, and multiple other playground equipment reached over 140 degrees.  

Class instructor, Professor Dan Bedford, said that he got the idea for the project after spending time with his children at a playground in London's Hyde Park this summer. "It was blistering hot, there was absolutely no shade, and I thought about how we are simply not ready for the heat waves that are in our future." 

The project is informed by recent research on urban climates that show significant differences in temperature within cities, correlated with both income and race and ethnicity. "Decades of racist housing policy--redlining--have contributed to poorer urban residents, and Black and Brown neighborhoods, facing a disproportionate exposure to extreme heat. As with so many aspects of climate change, the impacts will be felt--indeed, already are being felt--the most by the people who have done the least to cause the problem," Bedford said.

 The class hopes to present their results to city parks leaders in the near future. 

Plant Based Holiday

Want to bring a more sustainable option to the table this holiday season? 

Plant-based diets are not only incredibly beneficial to our health, but to our environment as well. In Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, edited by Paul Hawken, solutions were researched and ranked by their ability to mitigate climate change.

A plant-rich diet was ranked as the fourth most impactful solution. A 2016 Harvard study found that a Texas-based vegan diet produced a minimum of 809 kg of greenhouse gas emissions annually, approximately a third of the 2880 kg produced by a meat-based diet in the same region1! This coupled with the reduced risk of chronic illnesses due to increased nutrient intake2 makes eating plant-based a double-whammy solution! 

Check out the plant-based options below. Bring some to your holiday gatherings and inspire others to make the change as well.

Stuffed Acorn Squash – Cook Time: 55 Minutes, Servings: 4

Creamy Carrot Cauliflower Soup – Cook Time: 35 Minutes, Servings: 6

Green Bean Casserole with Cashew Cream – Cook Time: 50 Minutes, Servings: 8

If you are a Weber State Student wanting to learn more about sustainable diets, consider registering for NUTR 1240: Nutrition and Sustainable Cooking this spring semester.


Green Badge Program

Participate in the Green Badge Program and start earning your badges today! November’s Badge is “Food Sustainability”.

Learn about and participate in food sustainability by volunteering with the Food Recovery Network, making a plant-based meal, reflecting on food waste, and more.

In September, 18 people earned the “Energy & Climate” Badge and 5 people earned October’s “Social Sustainability Badge.” Way to go WSU students, faculty and staff!

Green Team Update

WSU’s Green Teams are Growing in Number & Progressing! Each month we welcome the new WSU Green Teams, and congratulate those who are advancing!  

The goal of the Green Department Program is to foster a sustainability-minded culture on campus and help Weber State achieve its energy efficiency and sustainability goals. For more information about the program, please see the Green Department Program.

Green Certified
 Master of Education Program

Silver Cerified
 Department of Social Work and Gerontology 
 Foreign Languages
 Military Science
 Office of Sponsored Projects 

New Teams
 Ogden Learning Center
 Parking Services

Upcoming Events

Salt Lake County Watershed Symposium
Wednesday, Nov. 16 – Thursday, Nov. 17, 8:00 am
Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 West 3100 South, West Valley City

Sustainable Clubs Meeting – Pumpkin Seed Harvesting
Friday, November 18, 1:30 pm
Weber State, Shepherd Union Bld., Rm. 331

Sustainable Clubs Meeting – Kitchenware Drive
Saturday, November 19, 11:00 am 
Stewart Library loading dock, south side of building.

Green Badge Program Tabling
Wednesday, December 7, 1:30 pm 
Shepherd Union, Atrium, 1st floor 

Sustainable Clubs Meeting – The 4 Doctors
Friday, December 9, 1:30 pm
Location to be announced

Future of Great Salt Lake Survey
Open through Tuesday, January 31
Take the Survey


In the News

Most in US want more action on climate change: AP-NORC poll

Beyond Catastrophe: A New Climate Reality Is Coming Into View

Utah youths’ climate lawsuit thrown out by state judge

Native Guardians: Canada’s First Nations Move to Protect Their Lands