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24-04-09

Eco-Friendly New beetle tour

Eco-Friendly New beetle tour

WORCESTER — Carrick McCullough has had a whirlwind couple of days and is about to have a whirlwind couple of months. Fresh off a taping of “The Bonnie Hunt Show” in Los Angeles on Tuesday, 9-year-old Carrick and his family are about to embark on a vegetable-oil-fueled cross-country trip to promote green causes and distribute their videos, which have developed a sizable following on the Internet.

Carrick and his father, Colin McCullough of Sutton, were at the University of Massachusetts Medical School yesterday as part of the school’s annual Earth Day event. The McCulloughs had their 2000 Volkswagen New Beetle on display in front of the school, and several eco-friendly groups and vendors set up shop inside the school.

The VW’s diesel engine gets 50 miles per gallon, but has been modified to run on vegetable oil. In about a week and a half, Carrick, Colin and the other half of the McCulloughs — Mr. McCullough’s wife, Jennifer, and other son, Gareth, will pile into the VW and take two months to drive across the country, stopping at points of significance to environmental causes and green industry. Carrick said he particularly looks forward to stopping by the Tesla dealership in Los Angeles. The Tesla Roadster, an all-electric sports car, reaches 60 mph in less than four seconds and has a range of around 220 miles per charge. He was at the taping of “The Bonnie Hunt Show” because she wanted to give ecologically friendly tips. “Bonnie was really nice,” Carrick said. “It was kinda fun. I didn’t have time to be scared.” He said he talked about small things people can do, like getting a home energy audit. “Things like sealing air leaks, putting in insulation, compact fluorescent light bulbs,” Carrick said.

Mr. McCullough said Carrick has taken a real interest in green causes, and when he and his son go on speaking tours, kids relate to him in a way that they just can’t with an adult. Vasilios “Bill” Tsaknopoulos, director of auxiliary services at the medical school, said vendors of everything from eco-friendly soap to clothing set up shop at the Earth Day event. As interest in green causes and products has grown, he said, so has the annual event now in its fourth year. “It heightens everyone’s awareness,” he said. He said the event dovetails nicely with the college’s efforts at energy efficiency: For example, the college is trying to achieve LEED Silver certification for one of its new buildings, and it will try for the same certification for another planned research center. Also, the school hopes to soon be recycling 40 percent to 50 percent of the trash it generates, up from its current 25 percent, he said. Mr. Tsaknopoulos said having an event like yesterday’s helps the staff at the school start thinking about what can be done toward achieving the energy efficiency goals the school has set. “What this does is that it allows our staff to come down and see what’s going on,” Mr. Tsaknopoulos said. “Then they’ll start asking, ‘What if?’ or ‘Can we?’ ”

 The McCulloughs’ Web site, www.ourrenewablenation.org , promotes eco-friendly, renewable energy, and sustainable design and living causes, and also has posted videos. They’re paying for their trip through donations, which can be made via the Web site.

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18:10 Gepost door beetlegirl in Actualiteit | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: eco, new beetle, friendly |  Facebook |

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