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Environmental Science and Policy
The recent formation of a sustainability committee at Smith College speaks to the growing awareness and need to make environmentally conscious decisions regarding the College. One area in which changes could be made to reduce the College’s Environmental footprint is transportation. Converting the 20 diesel vehicles to a B20 biodiesel is one way to reduce both emissions and consumption of fossil fuels. Using a B20 blend eliminates the need to retrofit the current engines. Another way in which the College could reduce fuel usage and the consequent emissions would be to replace several of the 7-passenger vans and sedans with hybrid vehicles. The economics associated with converting to biodiesel are negligible considering the benefits the College would gain in emissions reductions as well as how the decision would reflect on the sustainability of the campus. Projections for converting several of the gasoline vehicles to hybrids show that in several instances the hybrids cost less overall as well as use less fuel. These findings support the notion that the College can make choices that are both environmentally and economically beneficial. Reducing the emissions caused by Smith transportation would not only reduce our footprint, but also reinforce the College’s claim of seeking more sustainable options on campus.
© 2005; Nora Beem
Beem, Nora, "Driving Towards Sustainability? An Assessment of Smith College’s Vehicle Fleet" (2005). Capstone, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
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