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Scrapbook: Utah Valley Green Expo a Sustainable Success

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Sierra Club Scrapbook

September 10, 2008

Utah Valley Green Expo a Sustainable Success

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The Utah Valley Sierra Forum held its second annual Living Green in Utah Valley Expo on September 6 in Provo. The event, which drew coverage in the local press, was held concurrently with the local Farmers Market, significantly boosting attendance at both events.

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"The Expo gives local and regional green businesses and organizations a chance to get the word out about their products, services, and concerns," says UVSF chair Jim Westwater," and also helps people learn more about what they can do to help the earth.

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This year's Expo featured speakers and demonstrations on topics ranging from making a straw bale house, above, to making the connection between religion and the environment. Professor George Handley of Brigham Young University, below, quoted the Bible and Mormon texts in calling on all people to be good stewards of the earth.

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Highlighting this year's Expo was the first annual Earth Stewardship Award, presented to Brigham Young University Professor Arden Pope, below at right, for his pioneering work linking air pollution to human health problems, and to Dr. Brian Moench, below left, founder and head of the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment for their work combating air pollution.

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"Professor Pope's pioneering research was critical to the federal PM 2.5 air standards now being implemented, which give communities a major environmental sledgehammer in efforts to clean up their air," says Westwater. "Dr. Moench and the UPHE is playing a very crucial role in alerting the public, the media, and elected officials about the dangers posed by air pollution and the need to take strong corrective action."

Prompted by complaints from local mothers, a student of Pope's at BYU started a study that Pope then finished which found that respiratory complaints in area hospitals were significantly lower after Geneva Steel temporarily shut down its local plant in 1988. (It closed for good in 2001.) When Pope accepted his award at the Green Expo, he acknowledged the mother of one respiratory sufferer, below, who came up and embraced him.

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All photos © JNWestwater.

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