The National Extension Energy Summit brought together Extension professionals and clean energy advocates from 31 states and Washington D.C. to share their work and ideas around sustainable and renewable energy, home and farm energy efficiency, biomass energy programs, and other clean energy areas. The April 2015 Seattle event was sponsored by Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest and Washington State University Extension.
Through a community-scale collaboration, USU Extension Sustainability has helped establish Moab Bee Inspired Gardens. The mission is “To inspire locals and visitors using gardens, workshops and classes in a way that demonstrates and supports related efforts toward pollinator health, community food systems, water conservation and an economy that provides for our people and benefits our ecology.” Roslynn Brain discusses the permaculture inspired initiative in this video. Read more about permaculture design with our fact sheet.
Discover how a nonprofit organization in Moab, UT is building affordable straw bale housing for low income families. Serah Mead of Community Rebuilds (a collaborative partner of USU Extension Sustainability) gives us a tour of one of the homes in progress in this video. Read more about energy efficient housing on our energy page.
How can you design a worm composting system for your home? What do you need to maintain a healthy worm compost? What are worm castings? What are the nutritional benefits of the fertilizer? Discover answers to many of your questions about starting and maintaining a vermicomposting system in this video with Roslynn Brain (Assistant Professor, Sustainable Communities Extension Specialist) as part of USU Extension Sustainability’s video series. You can also read more about vermicomposting through our fact sheet.
What is community supported agriculture? How can growers connect with local businesses? What is Utah Farm Chef Fork? Find out answers to these questions and more by watching Kelsey Hall (Assistant Professor in Agricultural Communication and Journalism), interviewed via USU Extension Sustainability’s video series. You can read more about community supported agriculture programs through a USU Extension fact sheet on the topic.
What is carbon sequestration? How can landowners benefit? Is carbon sequestration only to mitigate climate change? Are there many ecological benefits? Watch Jennifer MacAdam (USU Department of Plants, Soils and Climate) and Zhao Ma (Purdue University Sustainable Natural Resources Social Sciences) as they provide insight into this topic through USU Extension Sustainability’s video series. You can read more about rangeland carbon sequestration in our fact sheet.
Why use your bike as your mode of transportation? How can you overcome some of the barriers you may face when biking? Find out the details as USU Extension Sustainability interviews Stephanie Tomlin, Aggie Blue Bikes Program Coordinator. Read more about biking by exploring our free Biking as an Alternative Mode of Transportation fact sheet.
What are the impacts when you decide whether to toss that plastic bottle in the trash or recycling bin? Get to know the second life of your trash through this interview with Emily Malik of Logan City’s Environmental Department. Who knew your local landfill could house a landfill mall? Or allow you to use free paint or cleaning supplies? To read more about reusing everyday household items, visit our “Reuse: Creating a Next Life for Common Items” fact sheet.
Interested in finding out more about the Global Animal Partnership, or discovering what “sustainable beef” actually means? USU Extension Sustainability seeks answers to these questions in interviewing Jennifer MacAdam, Associate Professor in Plant Physiology and Forage Production at Utah State University. To discover more about sustainable alternatives to beef production and consumption, read our fact sheet.
What exactly is the local food movement? What are the benefits to eating locally? How can you shop locally in Utah? This USU Extension Sustainability video walks you through the basics of the local food movement with Davis County Agriculture Agent, Shawn Olsen. To read more about the local food movement by exploring our Local Food Movement fact sheet.
Join Julie Peck-Dabling and Roslynn Brain as they discuss two Utah-based programs assisting Utah’s local food movement: Salt Lake County’s Urban Farming Program and Utah Farm-Chef-Fork. Given the growing demand for sustainably-produced local food, an increasing number of Urban dwellers are seeking ways to create their own sustainable food systems, and both urban and rural farmers and chefs are reaching out for more information on how to better connect. Also, community development leaders such as elected officials, CEO’s, developers and planners, have seen the many benefits of including agriculture and food into city and neighborhood plans. Discover through the video specific resources, programs, and impacts to-date with both of these programs.
Sustainability Camp was launched in Logan, UT and Park City, UT in the summer of 2013. The camps were designed as a five-day experience with 17 campers ages 10-13 attending. This video gives a snapshot of activities that occur at the camps. As a result of the camp, campers in both locations reduced their lunch waste (measured by weight) over the course of the five days by over half. Also, in a follow-up survey with parents, environmental changes ranging from recycling to using alternative forms of transportation transferred to the household level as well as a result of the camp!
Extension Sustainability Summit
The Extension Sustainability Summit was designed by Extension educators, for Extension educators, to assess what major environmental sustainability programs are currently being delivered through Cooperative Extension, and to envision our future direction. Environmental sustainability is envisioned to encompass five thematic areas: Land (conservation, reduce, reuse, recycle), Air (quality, climate change), Food (local food, sustainable food systems), Water (quality, conservation) and Energy (renewable, sustainable).
Community Supported Farms
There is a sustainability movement blossoming across the Unites States, and it’s community supported agricultural farms are an incredible result of the trend over the past decade. Utah State University Naturalist Roslynn Brain shares Utah’s efforts towards a more sustainable future and how you can eat your way to a smaller carbon footprint. Also on Science Questions, Utah Public Radio profiles one of the first Agricultural farms in the U.S. called Live Power.
Listen to the broadcast on UPR’s Science Questions.