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Think you’re living green? CORE staff says prove it

Middle and lower valley environmentalists will get an opportunity this summer to prove they can walk the talk when it comes to a green lifestyle.

The Community Office for Resource Efficiency, better known as CORE, is organizing a program called the Sustainable Communities Team Challenge for residents between Basalt and Glenwood Springs. Teams of three to five people are invited to come up with a project in areas such as local food production, water and energy use in a home or business, transportation improvements, or waste prevention, recycling and composting. Each team will be awarded up to $1,000 to help launch their initiative.

The CORE staff will be flexible on the type of projects that are approved, said program coordinator Amelia Potvin. “What’s important to us is the projects result in energy savings,” she said. The projects will also probably produce changes in day-to-day lifestyles, she said.

CORE’s young, energetic staff is coming up with innovative ways to get more Roaring Fork Valley residents interested in energy and water conservation issues – and using the publicity to educate a broader audience. Its Home Energy Makeover Contest in 2010 got 25 households from Aspen to Glenwood Springs competing to achieve the greatest reductions in home electric, heating fuel and water consumption. The winner received $1,000 and the runner-up scored $500.

Potvin said the staff didn’t want to simply re-run that contest in 2011. It wanted to come up with something different and it wanted to specifically engage the middle and lower valley.

“Some of the feedback [from the Home Energy Makeover] was it would be great to have a team feeling,” Potvin said.

Interested individuals don’t have to recruit their won team. CORE is holding a meeting next week to discuss the program, brainstorm on projects and help interested people hook up with potential teammates. That meeting is at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, in the large room of the Third Street Center in Carbondale.

CORE will select five teams. Final proposals will be due by May 15. The challenge will conclude in October.

CORE’s staff and other experts will be available throughout the contest to support the teams with information and help them find additional funding and resources. Monthly workshops will also be held to promote the projects and bring the teams together to exchange ideas. Each team will unveil its project at a public open house at the end of the challenge to help promote the goal of promoting sustainable communities.

Anyone seeking more information prior to the May 4 meeting can call Amelia Potvin at 963-1090 or email her at energy@aspencore.org.

scondon@aspentimes.com


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