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Fairfielders roll out a welcome for Dartmouth's Big Green Bus

Jun 21, 2012   |   by Meg Barone   |   Fairfield Citizen

"The Big Green Bus" left the campus of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire Wednesday for its 8th annual summer tour of the country, planning to log about 12,000 miles and travel through 30 states, and making its first official stop on Sherman Green in downtown Fairfield a few hours later.

The sustainable vehicle, which runs on either bio-diesel fuel, made from waste vegetable oil, or raw waste vegetable oil itself, and its crew of 13 Dartmouth students and recent graduates were greeted by dozens of well-wishers. They brought dishes for a pot luck dinner to share with the bus crew.

Many of the locals were friends and relatives of Nick Pavlis, 20, including his parents Al and Deirdre Pavlis of Fairfield...

...Crew member Remy Franklin, 21, of Taos, N.M., said bio-diesel, made from waste vegetable oil, costs about $3.50 per gallon, comparable to standard gasoline prices. Many restaurants used to give away their waste vegetable oil because it saved them the cost of carting it away for disposal. Now, many restaurants are paid for that waste.

Pavlis said the student-operated initiative began seven years ago when a group of Dartmouth students wanted to travel to California for an Ultimate Frisbee tournament and decided to do it in an environmentally sustainable way.

"It transformed into a program run mostly by environmental studies majors who are interested in alternative fuels and sustainability in general. We also have a contingent of engineering students," Pavlis said.

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