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It's So Easy Being Green

Big Green Bus gets political in 2008

Four years ago, the Big Green Bus began as a project between ultimate Frisbee players and engineering students. To transport the players across the country that summer, they designed a school bus powered by waste vegetable oil harvested from greasy spoons. Since then, the bus has evolved into a mobile museum of sustainable living. The project’s goal has been to spread the green revolution, educating the public through hands-on demonstrations and the bus’s knowledgeable crew about ways that all Americans can adjust their lifestyles to minimize their ecological footprints. This summer, they’ve expanded that mission to include political advocacy.

Big Green Bus 2008
The 2008 Big Green Bus Crew will depart Hanover in early June. (Photo Kawakahi Kaeo Amina ´09)

At each of the bus’s stops, the students will engage with mayors and other city planners about what cities and towns can do—and are doing—to go green. Their message is clear: sustainability for our environment is important regardless of political party and every American’s voice should work towards promoting a greener America.

On board, the bus brims with brand new high-tech capabilities. It serves as a science fair on wheels—a virtual exhibit for a sustainable future. With its waste vegetable oil-powered engine, alternative energy is still the bus’s mission. Over the years, it has gained solar panels across the roof, sustainably harvested wood floors, and an environmentally friendly living space. This year’s crew has also added presentational tools, such as a smartboard, iclickers for instant public polling, and wireless computers, open and ready to send pre-written letters to members of congress and other representatives.

The road trip begins in Hanover in early June. From Louisiana to California and Minnesota, the odyssey will reach more than half of the United States. Once again, the students are out to usher Americans onto their bus and into a greener future.

By ADELINE GORLIN ´11

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Last Updated: 12/17/08