Sustainability Week may have already ended, but campus organizations are not done spreading the word.
The National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day Odyssey, a nationwide sustainable energy outreach and education event, takes place at Virginia Tech for the first time today. Tech’s Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team is teaming up with Ut Prosim PR, the Tech chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, to host the event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Graduate Life Center Plaza.
Odyssey Day, as it is known, is coordinated across the country by National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium. The program was founded in 2002 at West Virginia University and has since spread accross the United States and Canada.
The goal of the program, according to its website, is to “heighten awareness and enthusiasm for Alternative Fuel Vehicles and advanced technology vehicles.”
Going along with the nationwide event’s theme of sustainable vehicle promotion, HEVT will showcase its re-engineered Chevy Malibu for the EcoCAR2, a three-year collegiate sustainable automotive event sponsored by General Motors. The competition provides students with the opportunity to take part in the future of green automotive engineering.
Tech is one of 15 schools participating in the competition. Their aim is to reduce the vehicle’s fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining key features of the design such as performance, safety and utility. The team — comprised mostly of seniors in mechanical engineering fulfilling their design-project requirement, as well as a handful of volunteers — will be on-site to answer questions about the vehicle’s design.
Jordan Parker, co-head of Ut Prosim PR, said the team will also discuss their ideas on what sustainable energy is.
“We’re trying to gain awareness and let people know what sustainable energy is,” Parker said.
In addition to showcasing their own alternative fuel vehicle, the organization will also be hosting giveaways to encourage active student participation.
“To grab students, we’re having giveaways,” Parker said. “They’ll have a chance to win a road bike and 10 environmental gift bags.”
In addition to HEVT, the event will also feature other sustainability clubs, including campus organizations and Blacksburg community groups.
Among these clubs is the Environmental Coalition, an organization dedicated to advocating a sustainable future and promoting an environmentally sustainable community. According to Parker, the club will be “giving an idea of what students will see in the future” for sustainable energy products and practices.
Like the EcoCAR 2 team, the Environmental Coalition’s goal is to increase awareness of sustainability and the importance of living an eco-friendly lifestyle.
With an assortment of clubs and teams dedicated to attaining a sustainable future, as well as an array of enticing prizes, Odyssey Day allows students and community members to explore a new frontier of green technology.