Big Green Bus teaches environmental sustainability |

Big Green Bus teaches environmental sustainability

Axie Navas
Axie Navas / Tahoe Daily TribuneSam Parker, a sophmore at Dartmouth College, talks about the Big Green Bus and the group's mission at Harveys Resort and Casino on Tuesday.

Powered by vegetable-oil and biodiesel, Dartmouth College’s Big Green Bus pulled into Harveys Resort and Casino on Tuesday to spread the word about environmental sustainability and going green.

The vehicle also has 315 solar panels onboard that provide electricity to the computers, refrigerator, lights, television, air conditioning and the engine’s veggie pumps.

The bus arrived in South Lake Tahoe for the first time about halfway through its 12,000-mile journey that began in New Hampshire and will end there on Sept. 5. This year, 10 students are living onboard the retired, veggie-powered Greyhound and hold talks and demonstrations at schools, biodiesel plants, gardens and casinos across the country.

“It’s been great. I live an hour away from school so I haven’t seen that much of the country,” Kate Desrochers said.

Desrochers recently graduated from Dartmouth with a degree in geography and economics, and is one of the drivers of the bus.

It was Desrochers’ first time in Lake Tahoe, and she said she’s interested in areas where big business, such as ski resorts, and delicate natural resources coexist.

“It’s cool. I really like being here. There is a high-intensive resource industry here, like the ski industry, but those people are usually really interested in protecting that resource,” Desrochers said.

According to Matt Krystofiak, regional vice president of human resources and management for Caesars Entertainment, the Big Green Bus mission fits in well with his company’s own environmental commitment, Code Green. It’s one of the reasons why Caesars decided to sponsor the group for the past two years.

“Part of it is passion, part of it is that some of our executives are (Dartmouth) alumni, and it fits very well with Code Green,” Krystofiak said.

Code Green is an international environmental sustainability initiative that focuses on renewable energy, reduction of carbon emissions and water consumption, alternative fuels, recycling and LEED building standards, Krystofiak said.

For John Lund, a retired Greyhound mechanic who happened to wander by the lot where the bus was parked, learning about the student-designed technology onboard that makes the bus run was the most interesting part of the demonstration.

“I think this is great. It’s incredible. A lot of people would be interested in this,” Lund said.

Next stop for the students and the bus is Oakland and San Francisco, where they’ll spend a week before continuing north along the coast.

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