Sustainability ResourcesDo you have questions about sustainability at home? Use these resources to learn more. Don't see what you need here? Reach out to our sustainability staff using the contact information to the right!
Recycling is a simple way to boost sustainability around your home. Benefits of recycling include:
-Reduction of waste sent to landfills and incinerators
-Conservation of natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals
-Prevention of pollution through reducing the need to source new raw materials
These sustainability benefits are only possible when we take proper recycling steps. Learn about those steps, and more, below.
Get to Know Your Recycling Provider
Cottonwood Heights is served by the Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling District. WFWRD debuted as an independent organization in 2013, and serves various communities across the Salt Lake Valley, including: Cottonwood Heights, Herriman, Holladay, Millcreek, Taylorsville, Murray, Sandy, Copperton, Emigration, Kearns, Magna, White City, and Unincorporated Salt Lake County. If you have questions about WFWRD, visit their website at www.wasatchfrontwaste.org, send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call them at 385-468-6325.
Learn About Recyclable Materials
Which items can and cannot be recycled can vary from community to community. Check out the Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling Recyclable Material Guide to learn what materials can be processed in your curbside recycling bin here in Cottonwood Heights.
Learn About Non-Recyclable Materials
Just as it’s important to know what can be recycled in your curbside bin, it’s crucial to learn what cannot be processed this way. Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling also has a Hard to Recycle Guide that gives information on what to do with items you can't put in your curbside recycling bin.
Prepare Your Materials Before You Recycle Them
Before you toss your items into your recycling bin, it’s important to do a quick check to make sure they’re ready. Materials should be empty and dry before they go in your bin. Follow these steps to check if an item is ready for recycling:
-Does anything drip or leak out of your recyclable item? If yes, pour it out and dry before placing in the blue can.
-Can what’s still in here smear or soil paper recyclables? If yes, then it’s too dirty to recycle
-Do not run your recyclables in the dishwasher
-One good wipe with a paper towel or dishrag is good enough for containers
-If cleaning a recyclable item would require excessive water, then it’s better to put it in the trash
Boost Your Service with Additional Curbside Bins
Each residence receives one blue recycle can as part of its monthly service fee. A second blue recycle can, a glass recycling can, and a green waste can are available for additional charges. To learn about these rates, visit the following links:
Landscaping adds beauty and function our community. With so many styles of landscaping to choose from, it can be difficult to choose one method for your yard. One of the most sustainable methods is through water conservation gardening, sometimes called waterwise landscaping, localscaping, or xeriscaping. Learn more about this low-water method below.
Why Water Conservation Matters
Here in Utah, the way we use water matters! Did you know that Utah is one of the most arid states in our nation? In some reports, it’s ranked as the second driest state, second only to Nevada! In such a dry state, you may be shocked to learn that more than 60% of Utah’s potable “culinary” water goes toward outdoor landscaping. By changing the way our yards are landscaped, we can save our valuable water supply.
Resources to Get Started
Maybe you’re interested in implementing a water-wise landscape in your yard, but don’t know where to begin? Don’t fear, the resources are as endless as the types of plants you can choose from!
Incentives and Rebate Programs
Conserving water and saving money on your monthly water bill are built-in incentives for implementing water-wise landscaping. As if those weren’t enough, there are several programs that make the deal even sweeter.
Visit a Water Conservation Garden
Are you in need of a little inspiration? Visiting a thriving water-wise garden might be all you need to start one in your own yard. Check out these gardens to get ideas and support local businesses all at once! Check establishment websites for current hours and any admission fees.
For many of us, our primary form of transportation might be a car. Although cars add convenience and opportunity to our lives, they also produce damaging emissions which harm our environment. Incorporating alternative modes of transportation to your routine can help greatly reduce these emissions. Luckily, there are alternative transportation options for every lifestyle. Find the one that suits yours using these helpful tools.
The first public transportation system in the United States was built in Boston in the early 1600s. Ever since then, public transportation has been a popular way for urbanites to commute. But public transportation isn’t just for metropolis living. Using the links below, you can find a public transportation route that serves the suburbs too!
Active transportation is any method that utilizes self-propelled, physical activity for transportation. Whether you walk, bike, run, or unicycle, active transportation is the perfect way to reap the benefits of exercise and sustainability, rolled into one neat package. Don't forget deodorant!
Think your days of carpooling are long gone? Think again! Carpooling can be a great way to reduce emissions from separate vehicles, while also socializing with family members, roommates, or friends. Some workplaces and campuses even offer discounted parking passes for carpooling patrons! Check with your commuter services department to find out if they participate in this incentive.
Trip chaining might be one of the simplest alternative transportation strategies. Whatever transportation form you use—private vehicle, public transportation, active transportation, carpooling, trip chaining works as a helpful add-on. When you trip-chain, you complete several errands within a single vehicular trip by grouping similar locations together. Maybe your dentist is also near your pilates studio and also within a few blocks of a new boutique you’ve been wanting to check-out. Schedule a dental appointment for the same afternoon as your pilates class, and stop by the boutique afterward. Three stops, one trip!
Building and Retrofitting
Incorporating sustainability around your home can be as easy as screwing in a lightbulb. There are sustainability projects for every type of living space, budget, and timeline. Whether you're building from scratch or retrofitting an existing space, the options for sustainability are nearly as endless as the paint chips you’ve been flipping through.
The type of lighting you use is an important decision—from the lightbulb to the fixture itself. LEDs are a popular choice for energy savings, but it’s important to choose LEDs carefully, especially when using them for outdoor lighting. Above all else, remember to turn off the lights when you leave the room!
Heating and Cooling
Despite the frustrations that "thermostat battles" cause between spouses and roommates, there really is a strategy to the way a thermostat should fluctuate throughout the day. Utilizing smart-thermostat use, and maybe even an efficient HVAC system, are great ways to boost at-home sustainability.
Whether you have a dishwasher installed in your kitchen, or you yourself are considered the household dishwasher, there are sustainable tips to help you make the most of your suds and supplies.
Washers and Dryers
Aside from the basic strategy of grouping compatible loads together to eliminate excessive use, selecting an efficient washer and dryer can ease some of the environmental burden of those frequent spaghetti stains.
Anyone who’s ever run out of hot water mid-shower knows the importance of a well-functioning water heater. In addition to considering capacity, consider installing a water heater that boasts added efficiency. It may also be worth spacing out hot water use, preventing the classic “running the tap until the hot water returns” scenario.
Drafts aren’t just pesky, they’re also unsustainable. Gaps in your windows, doors, frames, and insulation can lead to heating and cooling loss, effectively making your HVAC system work harder to compensate for the loss. Consult your contractor about different enclosure strategies to determine which method is the best fit for your project.
Electric vehicles are steadily becoming more popular, and more available. Unless you’re able to rely completely on public charging infrastructure, you’ll need to install a charger at home. Consider adding this charger infrastructure now. It will not only serve your electric vehicle, but might also boost resale value when it comes time to relocate.
Similar to electric vehicles, you’ve probably noticed solar panels popping up on more and more roofs around your neighborhood. Solar can be a feasible sustainability option for a variety of budgets, climates, and roof styles. Many electricians offer solar services, so check with your favorite one today!
There are many ways you can use energy wisely. To learn about energy efficiency for appliances and fixtures around your home, click the above tab called "Building and Retrofitting." Aside from energy efficiency strategies, you can also participate in innovative methods such as:
Blue Sky Renewable Energy Program
Utah Subscriber Solar
Community Renewable Energy Act/Program (House Bill 411)
This program is currently in progress. The below links offer information about the program's history. Currently staff is working with other participating communities to explore further involvement.
Whether grown or raised, we rely on nature for a good deal of what we eat. Just as their nutritional value differs, so does their sustainability value. The types of foods we select can have a major impact on the environment, through their production, transportation, and waste.
Food and Sustainability 101
It's no secret that there's a wide variety of philosophies when it comes to food. Food sustainability is no different, and no one resource covers it all. These articles offer a helpful introduction to to the topic.
Consider Eating More Plants and Less Meat
Adding plants into your diet and reducing meat intake can help reduce carbon emissions, water use, and land use. You don't have to cut out meat completely to reap the benefits of plant-based power. Every little bit helps!
Buy Local Food, Grow Local
When we buy locally grown foods, or grow food ourselves, we reduce the amount of miles our food has to travel to reach us, and reduce harmful vehicle emissions. Aside from the environmental benefits, buying from local farmers supports local economies and livelihoods, and growing your own food offers a great deal of satisfaction and pride. There's nothing quite like a backyard tomato!
Bring Reusable Containers
Bringing reusable containers when we grocery shop can help limit the amount of package waste on our food, most of which ends up in landfills as non-recyclable materials. Bringing your own container also allows you to customize your purchase to the exact amount you need, avoiding wasted ingredients. Before you fill up a jar at your grocery store, check with management to find out if it's allowed at that location, and what steps you need to take.
Support Sustainable Agriculture
Supporting sustainable farms and their farmers is one way of making sustainable changes worldwide. It can be a daunting world to navigate, with so many different terms and certifications. Use these resources to decode the terminology.
Reduce Food Waste
Food waste is a mammoth problem across our nation. The USDA estimates that 30-40% of our food supply is wasted by retailers and consumers. Buy only the ingredients you'll actually use, cook appropriate portions, and consider composting your food scraps! Composting not only keeps food scraps out of landfills, it also provides you with a nutrient rich landscaping material that will help your garden bloom.