Carbon Day 2013

As originally published on BU News Service Science on Oct 17, 2013.

16 October 2013, Boston, MA - A sign thanking Boston Mayor Thomas Menino for passers-by to sign at the Carbon Day 2013 exhibition in Copley Square. Photo by XiaoZhi Lim
16 October 2013, Boston, MA – A sign thanking Boston Mayor Thomas Menino for passers-by to sign at the Carbon Day 2013 exhibition in Copley Square. Photo by XiaoZhi Lim

By XiaoZhi Lim
BU News Service

A treat for passers-by at Copley Square yesterday: Carbon Day 2013! Co-sponsored by Boston University Sustainable Neighborhood Lab and the City of Boston Greenovate, Carbon Day is a public exhibition event to promote awareness about carbon and educate the public about steps they can take to reduce their carbon footprint, according to organizer Linda Grosser from Boston University.

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Advocates for Literacy in Environmental Sciences, Boston University

Andy Reinmann is a graduate student in biology at Boston University and a member of ALES, a student group at Boston University aimed at helping graduate students and scientists improve in communicating science. At Carbon Day 2013, the ALES booth was designed to allow members of the public try hands-on experiments to learn how various carbon measurements are obtained in scientific research.

Solar Personal Rapid Transit, South Shore Mobility

Solar Personal Rapid Transit is an ambitious plan for public transit to be personalized and sped-up. Here’s an example of Personal Rapid Transit in Heathrow Airport:

According to Judeth Van Hamm, President of South Shore Mobility, the biggest challenge is to increase public support for policy to “provide private service on public right of way.” Currently, private companies that are willing and able to help with financing the solar personal rapid transit project are not able to help because no such option exists in law.

The Great Methane Escape, Boston University

Margaret Hendrick and Bahare Sannie are graduate students in Earth and Environment at Boston University who worked on a project tracking natural gas leaks all over Boston. According to Hendrick, they found that some 38.8 million dollars a year’s worth of natural gas is leaking out of pipes in Boston and currently, providers like National Grid and NSTAR have no financial incentive to repair the pipes. Follow this link to hear the project’s principal investigator, Nathan Phillips, professor of Earth and Environment at Boston University and director of Sustainable Neighborhood Lab talk about the problem on NPR.

100 MPG Priuses, ConVerdant Vehicles

Randolph Bryan is an entrepreneur in a for-profit company, ConVerdant Vehicles, that specializes in refitting Toyota Priuses. ConVerdant’s services include installing a large battery in a Prius to up its efficiency to as much as 100 miles per gallon and installing an inverter in a Prius that would turn it into an emergency generator for homes. Especially after Hurricane Sandy, Bryan says that people have started to take notice of ConVerdant’s work.

350MA

350MA is a local group for 350.org, an organization working on building a social movement for climate change. Some of their current campaigns include Tar Sands Action against the Keystone XL Pipeline and anti-fracking No Gas Mass. 350MA is about 3000 people strong, one of the biggest 350 local groups. “We’re pretty progressive, but we can do better,” said Sophie Robinson.

At the end of Carbon Day

Julian Phillips, professor Nathan Phillips’ son, is one of 350MA’s youngest workers and their best recruiter, said Sophie Robinson.