The Big Green Bus
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The Big Green Bus is a project that was founded in 2005 to promote sustainability and renewable energy sources run by Dartmouth College students. Students originally converted a used school bus to run on waste vegetable oil, (WVO), but in 2009 upgraded to a 1998 MCI coach bus.
The BGB is part of the Dartmouth Outing Club and is entirely student-run. The group stops at various public events, as well as schools, camps and other gatherings of people to make educational presentations. The program also educates participants about how to manage an environmental project.
The Big Green Bus project began as an idea with a group of Dartmouth Ultimate Players. They wanted to do something together after graduation, but thought that a road trip in multiple cars would too greatly impact the environment. So, the idea of converting a school bus to run on WVO was born. Quickly, the potential for environmental advocacy became obvious.
In 2006, a new group of students decided to continue the program, some were Ultimate players, but others were not and the focus on Ultimate as a means to deliver the message was dropped. Eventually, the program became a regular program of the Dartmouth Outing Club and an application and selection process was adopted.
The Big Green Bus seeks to educate Americans about simple lifestyle choices they can make to reduce their impact on the environment. To do this, the Bus acts not only as a vehicle for travelling around the country, but as a mobile classroom with many features that allow it to demonstrate simple things that ordinary Americans can do. The bus is equipped with solar panels, deep cycle batteries and a state of the art inverter to sustainably power the computers and cell phones required to keep the bussers connected to the outside world and enable them to continue planning their trip while on the road. Many of the bus' improvements are made of sustainable materials: the countertops, flooring and furniture are made from recycled glass, bamboo and FSC certified wood.
The BGB provides tips and educational points through its presentations and its websites.
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