Big Green Bus Visits the Lower East Side

Posted on: June 25th, 2010 at 10:08 am by

The “Big Green Bus” traveled to the site of the Hester Street Fair on Thursday. On it were twelve Dartmouth College students from different classes and majors, whose mission is to promote sustainability.  Think of it as an Ivy League Express.  This program was started in 2005, and has been running for the past six years. The bus originated in Hanover, New Hampshire, the location of Dartmouth, and will travel across the country to promote their goal. Events are planned for each stop along the way, such as meeting others to talk about what people can do to live more economically and efficiently.

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Instead of using gasoline, the “Big Green Bus” runs on waste vegetable oil, which is the leftover oil used in deep fryers. The wasted vegetable oil system is heated by a coolant before it goes to the radiator. The bus starts by running on diesel and then as the engine warms, the vegetable oil is heated to the point where it can flow through the filters and be injected into the cylinders. Once the engine is warm enough, the system switches over and it runs completely on wasted vegetable oil.

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The coach is retrofitted to be a sustainable home, with solar panels providing power for computers and refrigerators. There is a bamboo floor and a bunker to sleep, but no bathroom. “The next stop for the ‘Big Green Bus’ is Princeton University. It is scheduled to arrive on the West Coast by late July or early August,” said Ann Elise DeBelina, one of the students on the bus. At least these students knew to stop by the Doughnut Plant on Grand Street to get some tasty treats.

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Written by Andrew Cohen

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