Sarah Gruen

About Sarah Gruen

In her role as Community Sustainability Manager at CORE, Sarah Gruen helps individuals, neighborhoods, and municipalities across the Roaring Fork Valley reduce their carbon emissions. Just as climate change affects everyone, Sarah believes that climate action will benefit everyone. In her writing, Sarah reports on our community’s home-grown solutions and the real impact they have on the world. She wants to make sure that everyone has the knowledge to drive powerful change!

This Little Box Can Help Your Business Save Big

By | 2018-08-15T10:57:48+00:00 August 13th, 2018|Blog Feed|

The Annabelle Inn knows that saving energy means saving money. Business owners looking to improve their energy efficiency often ask one question: which project saves the most money? For Annabelle Inn, the answer was adding variable frequency drives (VFDs) to the hotel’s hot water circulation pumps, a simple move that’s projected to save the hotel almost $2,500 annually. Most commercial buildings have motor-driven fans and pumps that behave much the same as they have for years: the [...]

Basalt Cracks the Code

By | 2018-07-26T19:28:24+00:00 July 13th, 2018|Blog Feed|

We can’t overemphasize the importance of building codes. This dense and complicated set of guidelines on mundane things like insulation and glazing requirements isn’t fun leisure reading. But they are one of the most important tools local governments have to reduce energy use in homes and businesses -- and to take action on climate. With the goal of creating homes that use less fossil fuels while improving the comfort and well-being of inhabitants, CORE contracted with two sustainable building specialists [...]

Ex-Gas Driller Digs Deep for Energy Savings

By | 2018-07-02T22:24:48+00:00 June 18th, 2018|Blog Feed|

Art Rothman, former oil and gas employee and owner of Red Mountain Inn, explains how harnessing cool ditch water to chill the air conditioners in this guest rooms saves him $1,500 per year. After 28 years as a driller in the oil and gas industry, working his way from the bottom, Art Rothman had made up his mind: “I wasn’t going to keep feeding the energy companies.” He took his driller’s instincts in mechanics and fluid dynamics and [...]

Is Earth Day Still Relevant? More. Than. Ever.

By | 2018-07-10T23:15:44+00:00 April 17th, 2018|Blog Feed|

Everyday is Earth Day: during the 2015 Paddle in Seattle, 300+ “kayaktivists” formed a flotilla of protest in Elliott Bay, raising their paddles and their voices against Arctic drilling. Photo courtesy of Andy Clark. It's hard to remember a time before the EPA and the Clean Air Act. Prior to these protections, it was every man (bear, and river) for himself. On April 22, 1970, 20 million of those "men" filled the streets to call for preservation [...]

Change for the Better: a Guide to Going LED

By | 2018-07-10T23:15:20+00:00 March 13th, 2018|Blog Feed|

When should you make the switch to LEDs? Should you wait until each light bulb burns out? Or go for the full lighting makeover now? No need to hem and haw, say experts at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability who’ve done the math for you: Your incandescent and halogen bulbs should be upgraded to CFLs or LEDs immediately. We at CORE recommend you go straight to LED. It’s not as cut and dry for [...]

Is Climate Change Busting Our Powder? Open Snow’s Joel Gratz Weighs In.

By | 2018-07-10T23:31:24+00:00 January 16th, 2018|Blog Feed|

Open Snow founder and meteorologist Joel Gratz breaking down the season at a recent talk in Frisco. Photo: Hugh Carey / hcarey@summitdaily.com It was a dismal start to the ski season. By early January, I could run in a t-shirt, had shoveled less than a foot of snow and even the open ski runs were dotted with patches of grass and exposed rocks. I couldn’t help but wonder: How should we make sense of this? Is climate [...]

Climate Action Planning Isn’t Sexy. Why You Should Care Anyway.

By | 2018-07-10T23:29:57+00:00 November 11th, 2017|Blog Feed|

“Landscape of Change,” where climate change data meets watercolor, by artist Jill Pelto. Pitkin County knows that the climate is changing our valley and that ambitious action is needed — if we’re to stave off the forecast of warmer winters, reduced snowpack, disrupted water cycles, and increased risk of wildfire. So what is the County doing about it? ? On October 25th, the Board of County Commissioners...wait for it...adopted a PLAN. I know, I know. Plans aren’t [...]

The Right Move

By | 2018-07-10T23:42:05+00:00 September 10th, 2017|Blog Feed|

“CORE is an incredible community resource,” says Liz Stewart, recipient of CORE rebate funds. When a 70s-era investment property came into Liz Stewart’s possession, she knew she could count on CORE, again. Seven years back we helped the Aspen resident complete a home energy reboot on her home. This time around, CORE scored almost $3,000 in rebates to lower the cost of her latest energy makeover. As with any old home, this rental unit had its share of [...]

Can Local Government Make a Difference? You Bet!

By | 2018-07-26T20:32:15+00:00 April 3rd, 2017|Blog Feed|

Sustainability starts at home, something that’s not lost on the Town of Basalt. The Town’s newly adopted Basalt Climate Action Plan and Climate Action Plan for the Eagle County Communitypromises a path to reduce emissions, starting with its own operations. The plans include an aggressive goal for the Basalt community: reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050. But, perhaps the biggest pledge of the Basalt Climate Action Plan is the vow to share the responsibility: the Town will consider allocating $100,000/year to [...]