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Not satisfied with being the first carbon-neutral college in the US, College of the Atlantic is taking it to the streets, literally. Their latest plan to achieve carbon-neutrality, installing electrification systems at truck stops so idling trucks no longer spew. While the campus has eliminated just about every unnecessary carbon emission they can think of, they still have to purchase offsets to cover some of their carbon footprint. Carbon offsets essentially allow the business or individual to calculate the emissions generated by a certain activity, and then either pay for solar panels or trees or some other system that will capture or offset the proportional amount of emissions. In this case, Carbonfund.org is funding electrification systems at truck stops instead of the typical tree plant or photovoltaic installation.
Why Electrification at Truck Stops?
On average, for every 11 hours of driving, a trucker must rest 10 hours. So, they tend to leave their truck on idle that entire time in order to heat or cool the cab, as well as run electronics and appliances. The emissions are bad not just for the environment, but also for the trucker who is breathing in lots of diesel over a long time. Plus, by plugging in, a driver can save a gallon of diesel for every hour he or she is not in idle.
The program allows for the additional installation of more electrification stations, for a savings of 4,270 metric tons of carbon offsets. The offsets College of the Atlantic has purchased through CarbonFund will ensure the college remains carbon neutral through December 2009. :CarbonFund.org :College of the Atlantic
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