Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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Sustainable Living Department Works to Complete Bio-Diesel Facility
Michael DearbornLast school year Sustainable Living Professor Mark Stimson lead a group of students in building a facility to house a long dreamed of project, an off the grid bio-diesel co-op.  The students made remarkable progress in the space of a month, but were unable to complete the building before their next block began.  Since that time there has been slow but steady progress by Sustainable Living team members Brian Robbins and Nick Campney; this month they are joined by Sustainable Living graduate Michael Dearborn, who hopes learn first hand about bio-diesel production and move the project along the road to completion.

Sustainable Living students and faculty are looking forward to the time when we will be able to fuel our two buses with bio-diesel produced in our own facility from waste cooking oil, rather than with conventional diesel that pollutes the air and adds to our carbon footprint.  Producing our own fuel will fall in line with our goal as a department to set an example for our students and the community in general by "walking our talk". 

Michael Dearborn explains, " The reason that bio-diesel is so important is because we bypass the fossil fuel system. Not only can we make it ourselves locally, but we can save money as well. It is also a way to take a waste product (waste vegetable oil) and make it into a valuable resource. Our goal is to take this already highly sustainable practice and make it even less damaging to the environment by using solar energy, rainwater, and experimenting with filtering systems that minimize waste water. Now all we have to do is reach our first goal of 500 gallons a month."

Click on the link to Michael's blog to view pictures of the future co-op and read about his on the job learning experiences as he works to make the Sustainable Living Department even more sustainable!

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