Natural Resources Stewardship Committee

About

  • The Natural Resources Stewardship Committee (NRSC) was established in 2017 to build on the values of early inhabitants: innovation, self-reliance and community spirit.  Areas of focus include recycling, water conservation, bicycling, gardening and promoting good air quality.
  • Learn more

Resources

Recycling

Water

Orem parks are currently being retrofitted with smart sensors to conserve water

  • By 2019, all Orem houses will have smart Water technology, real time data to save residents water and money

Air

Orem is replacing its retired vehicles with hybrid and electric models

Energy

Orem saves $51,107 every month with smart energy technology

  • All street lights in Orem are now LED
  • Orem owns 360 panels on a solar farm to help power city buildings

Open Space

Media

Photo

Projects

Surveys

Orem Forum

Hot Dealz


nrsc.orem@gmail.com


 Meet Gwenna. Recycling enthusiast. Orem resident for over 20 years. To help us be like Gwenna, we asked her 3 questions.

 
How did recycling become important in your life?   
As I was growing up we would take our bottles back to the grocery store to redeem for money.  That was the only way we ever got treats, is by using the money we got from returning bottles. When I got married I moved to California where they had been recycling for years.  One day, I don’t know where I was, but I found a book called 50 Simple things you can do to save the Earth. It was written in 1989 and I’m assuming it was put out in preparation of the 20th anniversary of Earth Day.  Living in Northern California, San Francisco area, there is limited space and people were concerned with finding ways to reduce the amount of garbage sent to landfills when there is a limited amount of space for those landfills. We would keep a paper grocery bag in our kitchen to fill with newspaper and other recyclables and then transfer that to the small recycling bins we had. California was also in the middle of a drought and we were trying to conserve water.  We would keep a bucket in the bathroom that we would fill as we were running the tap for warm water to be used for washing faces or taking a bath, then we would take the bucket outside to water plants. We also put a container of water in the toilet so the toilet would use less water. And Yes, I still have the book, and it’s just as relevant today as it was all those years ago. We have got to be smarter about what we are doing to the Earth and to the environment and a good place to start is by recycling.
 
How can our city improve recycling efforts?
I would like to see glass be included in the bins instead of having to take it to a separate location.
 
What are your tips to help other Orem residents become effective in recycling?
My biggest tip is to just start paying attention to what you are buying and figure out how to reduce, reuse or recycle.  Get informed on what can be recycled and if you have a question call Waste Management, they are very helpful in answering questions about what can be recycled.

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Archived Articles

Orem-Grown Produce Stands

  • Pyne Fruit Orchard, 696 East 200 North  –  peaches, plums, pears, nectarines, apples, blackberries
  • Orchard on Main, 505 South Main Street  –  peaches, apples, pears and veggies
  • Ferguson Orchard, 300 West 400 South  –  peaches, grapes
  • Wilkerson Farm, 710 West 2000 South – greens, veggies, peaches, berries, corn, apples and more
  • Chavez Farms, 600 West 800 North, 600 East 800 North, Garden Park Drive & Center Street  – apples, peaches, pears, peppers, tomatoes, berries and more 
  • Peach Haven, 385-429-0347  –  nectarines and peaches
  • Crandall’s Fruit Farm and Greenhouse, 825 East Center Street  –  apples, peaches, pears, melons, tomatoes and more 

Know of another grower? Let us know! Check back soon for a list of Orem’s pumpkin sellers

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    Here in Utah our days are labeled with colors and we hear air quality and inversion thrown around A LOT.  So… what’s that all about?          

    The Air Quality Index (AQI) is that fun indicator that tells us if we are having a green,yellow,orange or red air day.  The AQI uses numbers to represent the combo of air pollution and weather conditions.  Air quality can fluctuate through the day as wind and temperatures change.  The main pollutant levels tracked are PM 2.5 (fine particulate matter) and OZONE.  Ground level OZONE is formed through chemical reactions to VOC (volatile organic compounds) and other emissions in the presence of sunlight and heat.  PM 2.5 refers to tiny particles in the air that are 2 1/2 microns or less in width (over 30x smaller than human hair!)  

    3 categories make up Utah’s air contaminants- point, area and mobile sources.  (You can find charts and reports through the Division of Air Quality on DEQ.Utah.gov.)  POINT sources are large industrial/commercial facilities such as power plants and manufacturing facilities.   AREA sources are much smaller stationary sources like home heating, agricultural burning/harvesting, construction, residential/commercial energy generation, wildfires, and biogenics (emissions from vegetation).   MOBILE sources consist of emissions from non-stationary sources: planes, trains and automobiles.

    How does inversion play a role; aren’t inversions natural?   Yes, but because we sit in a beautiful bowl surrounded by mountains, an inversion will act like a hat trapping and condensing pollution, making things much worse some days. Generally air is warm in lower elevations and cools as it moves up.  A surface temperature inversion is when the system flips; warm air is on top, cold air hovers down low.  This happens in the winter when the Sun is not as hot, nights are longer and we have little wind.  This combination cools the air closest to the ground and the absent wind holds those surface temps, keeping higher elevations warmer (and the hat on our pollution).  What can clear an inversion?  Storms with wind.  

    So… whats the big deal?  Well, its those icky days.  The sky is stagnant and muggy.  Your hair feels dirty.  A cough develops.  Can’t catch your breath.  Well, THAT’S part of poor air quality.  Children, elderly, pregnant women and asthma sufferers are NOT the only residents at risk.  Sure, we can push through the heavy breathing, runny nose, itchy eyes and headaches.  But no one is immune to the bigger health issues that accompany ground ozone and PM 2.5. Our bodies struggle to filter particles of this size, so they travel dangerously deep into our respiratory systems which can disrupt cardiovascular functions . (That’s your lungs and heart, people!)  Some problems that can arise are heart attacks, heart disease, aggravated emphysema and chronic bronchitis (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD), acute lower respiratory infections and adverse birth outcomes.  In addition to human risk, our federal government has directly linked poor air quality to rising temperatures which has and will continue to impact local vegetation and ecosystems.    

     Well, what gets rid of pollution?  Good news- We do!!  

    Absolutely. Sure, agriculture and industry make up their large part of the pie.  But for average citizens like you and me, we can focus on energy conservation and transportation, transportation, transportation.  (Driving is a biggie, guys)  Simple action means big improvement.  Every effort to cut air pollution DOES make a difference.  

    Here are some ways. We’ve got this!:

    1. Turn your home thermostat down 2 degrees.  

    2. Turn your car off.  Seriously.  Just turn it off.  If you are idling longer than 3 minutes (think longer than a stoplight ), you should turn the key.  At the school pick-up, at the bank, food or pharmacy drive-thru, wherever you wait and are inclined to put your car in Park- just turn it off.   WAITING = CAR OFF

    3. Carpool

    4. Use the broom over leaf blower

    5. maintain your car, keep tires properly inflated

    6. Consolidate shopping trips, pick specific days to shop

    7. Compost, prevent food waste

    8. Hang dry clothes – keeps your clothes longer and adds humidity to your home

    9. walk to church- encourage your household to walk/bike to destinations within 5 blocks ( friend’s home, school, churches, stores) 

    10.Bundle up – season appropriate dress and blankets can help conserve energy at home and in the car.  You are also more inclined to walk places

    11. Use cold water on laundry

    12. Time your showers, turn your shower head down or shower every other day

    13. Get an Energy Audit done on your home, properly winterize!

    14. Buy an electric car 

    15.  Quit smoking

    16.  If you use a wood burning stove, make sure it is EPA certified and burn wood not treated with chemicals

    17. Turn your water heater down when not using or off when gone

    18. TURN LIGHTS OFF, use motion sensor lighting

    19. Educate those around you about air quality

    20. Ask your employer about a work-from-home option 

    21. Only run dishwashers, washing machines and dryers when completely full

    22. Use non-toxic household cleaners

    23. Use paints with low VOC

    24. Avoid large dirt patches in your yard

    25.Opt out of junk mail, use paperless billing

    26. Hang up and re-use towels

    27. USE MASS TRANSIT 

    28. Have houseplants, grow a winter garden

    29. Switch to re-usable items

    30. Have your kids take the school bus

    31. Join the CLEAR THE AIR CHALLENGE at

    32. Check out the many organizations in Utah that track Air Quality and advocate cleaner living.

    cleartheairchallenge.org