Environment

Environmental Caucus Endorsement

Aaron received the Environmental Caucus endorsement based on his track record of accomplishment, education, and ideas.

Like many locals, Aaron understands the uniqueness of our valley. Air pollution is a long-time issue and problem, and because the effects are real, there is large community support for clean air.

Our planning and zoning needs to consider the effects upon the environment, so that our transportation and housing systems remain viable.

Curbside Glass

Aaron worked for 17 months with Sandy administration and Momentum Recycling to create the curbside glass recycling program.

This program has already diverted over 50 tons of glass from the landfill, and it is recycled locally in Nephi.

Momentum honored Aaron by designating him customer #1.

Aaron continues to work with Momentum on community-wide recycling programs.

Teaching Ecology in Classrooms

Since 2013 Aaron has been teaching ecology in elementary school classrooms. It is one of his favorite ways to serve his community. He loves enriching the science curriculum and getting the kids outside.

His curriculum is based on the four laws of ecology:

  1. Everything is connected
  2. Everything must go somewhere
  3. Nature knows best
  4. There is no such thing as a free lunch

MIT Certificate – Smart City Design

In preparation of applying to the Sandy City Planning Commission, and then running for county council and potentially making a variety of planning and zoning decisions, Aaron earned a certificate from MIT in Smart City Design and Technology.

There are so many concepts that can be implemented to make our county better, and Aaron looks forward to brining these cutting edge ideas to the council.

As we grow, it is important that we do it smart. I learned a lot and am really excited to be currently working on the Little Cottonwood Canyon EIS as it relates to the proposed expansion of Wasatch Blvd. Check out savenotpave.org for more info. We are proposing an alternative that must be considered as part of the NEPA Process.

House Bill 411

As chair of the Sandy Sustainability Focus Group Aaron worked for 5 months to persuade cities to become 100% net renewable energy by 2030.

This was a huge win along the entire Wasatch Front, with 24 municipalities and counties signing on, which will require Rocky Mountain Power to provide clean, renewable energy to nearly 1 million residents.

Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk

Aaron’s home has a 30% recycled metal roof (which can be recycled at the end of its 50+ year life), and a 7.84 kilowatt SolarEdge system comprised of 28 panels.

He drives a fully electric Nissan LEAF.

United Nations Civil Society Conference

Aaron presented the findings of a Sandy City survey on street lights at the 68th Annual UN Conference on Sustainable and Inclusive Communities in 2019.

988 respondents make the data statistically significant for the whole of Sandy.

86% of residents want the lights shielded to direct the light downward, 85% want the city to invest in energy efficient LED lights, and 86% believe that the current light color provides adequate visibility.

Aaron continues to work with Sandy on their lighting, and is working to create an ordinance.

Masters Degree – Ecopsychology

Aaron holds a Masters Degree in Ecopsychology, which studies the relationships between the humanity and the natural environment.

Aaron’s thesis discussed the benefits of nature exposure and mindfulness practice for children diagnosed with ADHD.

There are a growing number of studies on the benefits of spending time in nature, including: improved attention, decreased stress, improved mood, and improved overall health.

President – Utah Society for Environmental Education

Aaron has served as the President of USEE since 2017.

Established in 1981, USEE’s mission is “to promote excellence in environmental education and community engagement to connect all Utahns to their natural world.”

Our vision is a ” culture of environmental literacy, knowledge and action to create a sustainable future for Utah”

Chair – IDA Utah

Aaron has served as the Chair of the Utah Chapter of the International Dark Sky Association since 2019.

Aaron is leading the effort to increase community awareness about light pollution, and create change by persuading councils to adopt lighting ordinances and legislative bodies to pass impactful legislation.

In 2020 Aaron consulted for the Park City Planning Department on an updated lighting ordinance that was passed unanimously by the city council. https://www.ksl.com/article/50038710/could-park-city-become-utahs-newest-dark-sky-community

During the 2020/21 legislative session, Aaron worked with Representative Handy (R) on a Dark-Sky License Plate, and opposed S.B. 61 (the billboard bill) which was defeated.