Eleven Dartmouth College students touring the nation on the Big Green Bus with the goal of building enthusiasm for community involvement through environmental action made only one single stop in the state of Virginia. That stop was at Staunton on Wednesday, June 20, 2012.
The 2012 tour is focused explicitly on inspiring grassroots action to address environmental issues and encourage sustainability at the community level. By becoming a vehicle for inspiration, the Big Green Bus aims to create a future that sustains people, the environment and the economy.
“It is surely a sign of the Staunton area’s leadership in local food and sustainable living, along with our community’s strong ethic of volunteerism, that the Big Green Bus chose Staunton as its only stop in Virginia,” said Lindsay Curren, co-founder of Transition Staunton Augusta.
A day in Staunton
Arriving in the late morning at the Wharf parking lot, the bus opened its doors to the public. Complete with appliances run by solar power, a recycling and compost station and an engine converted to run on waste vegetable oil, the bus exemplifies innovative ways to live sustainably. As a fun and interactive vehicle and living space, the Big Green Bus is designed for learning about energy use and facilitating discussion about local and national environmental issues.
In the afternoon, the bus moved to the Transition Staunton Augusta Community Garden in Staunton’s Newtown Historic District. There the students installed a rain barrel donated by Tractor Supply to help provide a water supply to the garden, which is not currently connected to the city’s water system. The students also planted pumpkins and sunflowers and help improve the property, which has hosted vegetable garden plots since this spring.
The students finished up the day with a potluck dinner with Newtown gardeners at the offices of the Staunton Creative Community Fund. That evening, the bus departed to spend the night at Polyface Farms in Swoope.
The student-run initiative hit the road on June 13. Over the summer, the students will travel 12,000 miles through 30 states spending the summer engaging in dialogue, spreading innovation and inspiring community action – all on a waste vegetable oil (WVO)-powered coach bus.
This year, the students are on the road to ask questions, share ideas, and inspire people to get involved. Looking for green innovation, dialogue and mutual exchange, these passionate students are ready for a cross-country adventure in search of a sustainable future. Follow the bus online this summer at The Big Green Bus.
News media coverage
Two TV stations, two newspapers and a prominent web magazine all covered the event:
Touring Bus Promotes a Healthier Environment
Waynesboro News Virginian, June 21, 2012
Dartmouth Students Visit Staunton to Spread Education about the Environment
WHSV TV-3, June 21, 2012
Students Recreate Roadtrip with ‘Big Green Bus’
NBC TV-29, June 21, 2012
Fueled by Vegetable Oil, Big Green Bus Drives into Staunton
Staunton News Leader, June 20, 2012
Big Green Bus to Make Sole Virginia Stop in Staunton
Augusta Free Press, June 15, 2012