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Fueling Change

The Big Green Bus rides again

Last summer, 15 Dartmouth friends, activists and ultimate frisbee evangelists drove cross-country in a school bus converted to run on waste vegetable oil - a commodity they were able to restock at greasy spoons across the nation. The project, known as the Big Green Bus, garnered attention wherever it went and the riders spread the word about the feasibility of alternative fuels and the power of the individual to inspire change. This year, a new group of Dartmouth students has picked up where the originators left off and hopes to get the original Big Green Bus on the road once more for the All-Ivy Environmental Career Fair at Columbia University on February 17.


Dave McCune '05
Dave McCune '05 fills up on used vegetable oil for the Big Green Bus outside a restaurant in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, last summer. A new group of students is working to take the bus to the All-Ivy Environmental Career Fair at Columbia University next month. (photo by Craig Rubens '06)

The Big Green Bus may only have a few more trips left in it - on returning to Dartmouth, it was donated to the Dartmouth Outing Club where it will enjoy a semi-retirement - but the 2006 group, inspired by the project's founders (most of whom have graduated) have announced plans to build a new Big Green Bus. They plan to expand the original mission of educating people about alternative fuel and ultimate frisbee to include promoting awareness of nontraditional career paths and the possibilities of the road less traveled.  Although still in the planning stages, group leaders Elliott May '06, Melissa Lynch '06, Forrest Hanson '06 and Big Green Bus 2005 alumnus Craig Rubens '06 hope to enlarge both the mission and number of participants in this year's project. Says Hanson, "In addition to expanding the focus on the environmental issue, one of this year's major goals is to make the bus a more sustainable project. Through the creation of stronger bonds with the College, and the construction of a new bus that can undertake multiple trips across the country and back, we hope to ensure that the Big Green Bus will be around as a vehicle for change for many years to come."

By GENEVIEVE HAAS

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Last Updated: 12/17/08