Connecticut College Magazine · Fall 2005


Mach Arom ´89: Rebuilding hope for Thai tsunami victims

Kathryn Bard ´68: Somewhere in Egypt

Who cares about Haiti?

Venturing into Iran: Beyond the warning

Gloria Hollister Anable ’24: Into the deep

Gaida Ozols Fuller ´74: Six months in Uganda

Sarah Trapido ´08: Going 13,000 miles on veggie oil

Yoko Shimada ´99: Fighting the war on AIDS in East Africa

The extra mile: Journeys that make a difference

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Sarah Trapido ´08: Going 13,000 miles on veggie oil

Sarah Trapido ´08: Going 13,000 miles on veggie oil
Sarah Trapido ´08 on the biodiesel-fueled bus.

by Eric Cardenas

Sarah Trapido ’08 and David DiGiammarino ’06 spent their summers promoting fuel efficiency — Trapido logged 13,000 road miles touring the country in a vegetable-oil fueled school bus, and DiGiammarino supported the trip in Boston.

Both are involved with a project called Road to Detroit, which is supported by Energy Action, a student-run energy issue coalition.

Trapido, a sophomore from New York City, and her six bus mates stopped in communities around the country to talk to local citizens about fuel efficiency and to collect signatures for a “Clean Car Pledge.” The pledge asks people for a commitment to buy union-made American cars that get at least 40 miles to the gallon and meet California’s higher emissions standards in order to reduce global warming. So far, nearly 11,000 people have signed the pledge.

“We came together from around the country because we are concerned with the way our economy and environment are going,” said Trapido, one of the project organizers.

At CC, Trapido is involved in CCLeft, Group Art Attack, Students Against Violence to the Environment (SAVE) and the Renewable Energy Club.

The bus stopped in New York City, Butte, Mont., Washington, D.C., Madison, Wisc., Knoxville, Tenn. and Portland, Ore., and many other locations.

The pledges were delivered to the CEOs of Ford, General Motors and Chrysler in Detroit in mid-August.

DiGiammarino, a senior from Lexington, Mass., said he joined the project because he’s committed to moving the world beyond oil, and wanted to spend the summer dedicating himself to making change. In Boston, he planned the convergence in Detroit and developed an upcoming Energy Action campaign called the Campus Climate Challenge, which calls upon college campuses nationwide to reduce their global warming pollution. He also spent two short stints with the bus, at the beginning and the middle of the trip.

At CC, DiGiammarino, a government major, is involved in the Holleran Center’s Program in Community Action, N2O Improv Comedy Group and is an Admission fellow.

Biodiesel, which the road crew stored in gallon containers on top of the painted GMC bus, is used without making modifications to the diesel engine of the bus. Throughout the trip group members contacted local restaurants to obtain waste vegetable oil from cooking, which is heated until it becomes thin enough to be used as fuel.

Energy Action funded the trip through grants and sponsors. For more information on the Road to Detroit project, go to To learn more about Energy Action’s future campaigns, visit

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