Welcome to the December WSU Sustainability Newsletter!

Seasons' greetings to all!

The nights are nearing their longest length while the days grow shorter still.  This tends to be a time of year for reflection.  WSU Sustainability has had much to celebrate and be grateful for over the year.  Here are some highlights:

· Opened Lindquist Hall with all its sustainability features (including a ground-source field to help with heating/cooling);

· Gained approval for and launched the new sustainability attribute to identify courses that include sustainability, broadly defined, across the curriculum;

· Increased the number of Green Teams to 81, encompassing over one third of all WSU departments;

· Celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Intermountain Sustainability Summit attended by over 400 sustainability professionals and students from across Utah;

· Hosted the State of Utah Lawn Mower Exchange, exchanging over 410 gas mowers and 375 gas trimmers for electric models, thus improving summer air quality by reducing emissions;

· Launched the Empower Northern Utah LED Light Bulb Exchange serving over 465 households (over 45% of which were low-income ), increasing energy efficiency and reducing utility costs;

· Combined forces and overlapping interests by students into the Sustainable Clubs (Environmental Ambassadors, Food Recovery Network and the campus Community Garden), which have been active in reducing food waste, conserving water through xeriscaping and educating their peers;

· Won the state of Utah’s H2-Oath Water War; and

· Laid the groundwork for a Net Zero House project in Ogden through a WSU and Ogden Civic Action Network partnership.

All of this was accomplished through the work of the sustainability team from Academic Affairs and Facilities Operations, but also through critical administrative, faculty, student, staff and community support and engagement.  Just as we are dependent upon the health of our surrounding ecosystems and physical world, we are buoyed by our relationships, collaborations and the work of others.

Thanks to everyone who has helped and engaged in one way or another to make this year a success.

The December Solstice will be upon us soon and days will again lengthen, as we head into the New Year renewed in our commitment to work toward creating a better world for all through the advancement of sustainability education and practice on our campus and in our community.  We know we have much pressing work to do!

May your holidays be warm and rejuvenating with love and laughter as you enjoy the company of those you hold dear.

-          The WSU Sustainability Team

New Year, New Use January Free Swap

For the approaching new year, Weber State University Sustainable Clubs will be hosting a January New Year, New Use Free Swap in Shepherd Union Ballroom C on Wednesday, January 15th, from 8:00AM – 3:00PM and Thursday, January 16th, from 10:00AM to 3:00PM.

Start off your new year by helping us reduce the large amount of waste entering landfills. This is a spring cleaning opportunity for you to donate items you no longer need (like those unwanted holiday gifts you can’t see yourself wearing or using)! It is also a chance to browse through donated items that you may need.

So if you're planning on gathering up items to donate, hold on to them until January! We ask that you keep in mind our list of acceptable and non-acceptable donation items found in our flyer accessible through the WSU sustainability calendar.

Volunteers are needed! If you’re interested in helping out, or need to earn volunteer hours for a class, sign-up through the volunteer sign-up sheet link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1if6uSJJR0mt_91fQMIwEXd7C5CuX1ChFNrhSZHnM1m8/edit?usp=sharing

This is open to the WSU community, so students, faculty and staff are all welcome to join and participate!

All items that do not find a home will be donated to Savers!

Geoscience & Society Seminar Series

The Spring 2020 Geoscience and Society seminar series is an introduction to the multifaceted and important role that the earth sciences play in modern society. Geoscientists help provide and regulate natural resources that are fundamental to modern civilization. They work to understand, predict and mitigate natural hazards. Their work can degrade or protect the natural environment and public health. Join us on Thursdays to become better informed about the issues, responsibilities and ethical dilemmas facing the modern geoscientist. The series is led by Dr. Carie Frantz of the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences and will feature guest speakers from around the Intermountain West.

Seminars are open to all and will be held each Thursday of spring semester from 1:30-2:20 pm in Tracy Hall Science Center TY 217.

Students may earn credit (GEO 4990, 2 credits, CRN 31380) for attending the seminar series and the additional discussion section that follows the seminars from 2:30-3:20.

The lineup for January includes:

Jan 16: Mary Ann Wight (retired mining regulator) talking about Utah's mineral resources and mining regulation

Jan 23: Mike Vanden Berg (Utah Geological Survey's Energy and Minerals Program Manager) talking about Utah's fossil fuel reserves and industry

Jan 30: Dr. Scott Williams (Director, HEAL Utah) talking about nuclear waste

For more information and an up-to-date schedule, visit the series website: weber.edu/cariefrantz/geoscienceandsociety.html


Ogden Votes to Explore 100% Net-Renewable Energy

On Tuesday, December 3rd, the Ogden City Council voted in favor of a 100% net-renewable energy goal by 2030. The meeting was brimming with community members who addressed the council in support of clean energy.

Ogden joins with 15 other Utah cities and communities, including Kamas, Kearns, Salt Lake City and West Jordan, who are seeking 100% clean electric energy options. Participating communities represent over half a million Utahns.

Typically, cities cannot choose what type of energy they are provided, but the passage of the Community Renewable Energy Act (HB 411) in last year’s legislative session gave municipalities (served by Rocky Mountain Power) through December 31st of this year to decide if they want to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030.

Tuesday's vote was just the first step. Municipalities will now enter into negotiations with Rocky Mountain Power and the Public Service Commission to determine a rate schedule which would become the standard for the community. The rate-making process is anticipated to last for a year to 18 months. Once cities know the new rates, they will decide whether or not to adopt the clean energy standard. Any community member (business or residential) may opt out of the program and remain on the existing power mix and rates, even if the city chooses the renewable energy standard.

Noteworthy dates for spring semester: 

February 15 - deadline for submissions for the student poster competition at the Intermountain Sustainability Summit

March 1 - deadline for submissions for the Student and Faculty Sustainability Research Awards (two cash awards for each), recognizing outstanding sustainability research completed during the calendar year or Spring 2020 semester. 

March 19 - (all day) and March 20 (workshops) - Intermountain Sustainability Summit, while this is a ticketed event, WSU students faculty and staff are welcome to drop in to sessions on the 19th, full registration scholarships will also be available for students interested in attending the full event (March 19) and/or a workshop (on March 20). 

April 7 - (likely 5-7 pm) - WSU Sustainability will be hosting a live-cast webinar and discussion for Utah as part of the National Solve Climate by 2030 initiative.  Watch for more details in the new year. 

Donate this Season

Help Weber State University continue our sustainability work across our campuses and in our community. Your donation helps faculty incorporate sustainability into the curriculum, aids in student research, supports community-wide programs, events and more.

Help us reach our funding goals for a sustainable campus and community.

Remember to check the "Decline alumni membership offer" button if you would like 100% of your donation to go towards sustainability.



December 2019 Newsletter

Upcoming Events

January 15, 8:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m.
January 16, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Shepherd Union Ballroom C
Thursdays, 1:30-2:20 p.m.
Tracy Hall 217
February 15th

See our calendar for updates

For more information, contact katherinemeyr@weber.edu