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Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
On June 13, the 12 Dartmouth students behind the veggie-oil powered Big Green Bus will say their farewells to Hanover at an event sponsored by the local restaurant, Canoe Club. The event will feature a documentary screening, tours of the Big Green Bus and an inaugural fill-up of veggie oil from the Canoe Club's waste oil reserves. The following day, the Big Green Bus will take off on its 10-week, 45-stop, cross-country tour.
Canoe Club, located at 27 S. Main Street in Hanover, will host the crew and their bus from 6-9 p.m. The send-off will serve as a bon voyage party and farewell fundraiser for the Big Green Bus organizers who will receive 25% of the food sales generated by the event. In addition, anyone attending the fundraiser will receive a discount card from outdoor clothier and Big Green Bus sponsor Ibex. A portion of the sales generated by the Ibex cards will also go to support the bus. Canoe Club owner John Chapin said he was pleased to be able to offer support to the Big Green Bus and to provide its first official waste oil fill-up. "We're going to grease 'em up, not gas 'em up," he explained.
The Big Green Bus began in 2005 when 15 Dartmouth students purchased and converted a ramshackle school bus to run on waste vegetable oil. They drove the bus cross-country and back again, spreading the word about environmental stewardship and alternative fuels. In 2006, a new groups of students picked up the baton, raising more than $30,000 for the purchase of a newer, sounder bus, an expanded educational campaign and a busier itinerary.
With the support of the Thayer School of Engineering, the students modified the bus' diesel engine to run on heated and filtered vegetable oil, which has the same combustive properties as diesel fuel. As U.S. consumers watch pump prices rise and grow increasingly concerned about the effects of global warming, the students behind the Big Green Bus will travel the country, filling up for free at diners and greasy spoons. According to crew member Craig Rubens, "It's garbage to them; it's fuel to us." They hope to carry their message—that individuals with passion and initiative can contribute to innovative energy conservation—to the summer camps, festivals and fairs they'll visit during their campaign.
The Big Green Bus has attracted both private and corporate sponsorship, most notably from top sponsor Newman's Own, makers of the famous lemonade and a leader in corporate responsibility for more than 20 years. Paul Newman, as sole owner of Newman's Own®, and the Newman's Own Foundation donate all profits and royalties after taxes for educational and charitable purposes—over $200 million to thousands of charities worldwide since the company was founded. Inspired by the Big Green bus' mission, Newman's Own joined the Big Green Bus' corporate fundraising campaign, helping to make the environmental education road trip possible.
Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.