This August, we had the pleasure of hosting Dartmouth College’s Big Green Bus, an eco-friendly Greyhound bus run by 13 students who strive to educate people on sustainable innovation. It was a unique experience for us to see how these college students (aka bussers) get their audience excited about the environment, sustainability and making a difference with the bus they live in and travel around the country with.
The bussers have equipped the Big Green Bus with an assortment of educational tools. Perhaps the best educational tool they have is the actual bus itself. The bus was reengineered with mechanical and electrical components, which allow the bus to run clean and educate people. Two of the best examples are their veggie oil system and the solar panels. Many of the people that visit the bus have never seen either form of technology, but seeing it makes it easier for the bussers to explain how the technology works. One bonus is that some can’t quite believe that 13 students are travelling across the country and living off of the sun and used French fry oil. The bussers showcase how this is done at the places they visit. They use a touch-screen computer that maps different sustainability efforts around the country to help their excited visitors find local sustainability efforts that they can get involved with. The bussers are not the only ones who influence others, there are people and entire communities that surprise and inspire them as well.
In North Carolina, the bus passed through a town that had little shops that sourced all local ingredients, which gave lots of business to the local farms and winemakers. This particular town not only gets fresh ingredients, but they are also reducing their carbon footprint. For this reason, Nick Devonshire, the fundraising coordinator of Big Green Bus, names North Carolina by far the coolest state they went to. This town is inspiring, proving that sustainability is not only a Northeast/Silicon Valley issue. Even though the bussers endeavor to make an impression on those they meet with, others have also blown them out of the water.
It was great to see these 13 students in action at our offices explaining how they bring awareness to sustainability by providing eye-opening experience. Check out our video where the bussers explain some of the sustainable features they implemented on the bus as well as our employees’ reactions.
If you missed them this year, keep an eye out for the 2012 tour!