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SyracuseCoE employees take road trip to Phoenix, Ariz., to reduce carbon footprint

November 05, 2009

Carissa Matthews
(315) 443-3507

While most people will be sleeping at 3 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, three employees of the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems—two ’09 Syracuse University grads and one ’09 St. Lawrence University grad—will head out on a road trip to Phoenix, Ariz.

What’s in Phoenix? The group— Kelly Anderson, Aimee Clinkhammer, and Carissa Matthews—are traveling to attend the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo (http://greenbuild.org), the largest annual green building conference in the world, and exhibit on behalf of SyracuseCoE as well as New York’s Creative Core (http://creativecoreny.com). The round-trip journey will go from Syracuse, to Phoenix by the shortest route possible, driving through St. Louis, Tulsa, Okla. and Albuquerque, N.M.

Exhibiting at a conference is typically a very unsustainable process. Most organizations ship a large, heavy exhibit; exhibitors travel by plane, many times with multiple layovers; and most exhibits are made from unsustainable materials, such as vinyl and plexiglass. To lessen SyracuseCoE’s carbon footprint, the design team collaborated with the exhibitors and sponsors to create a booth entirely out of repurposed and/or sustainable materials, making it easy to pack into a car and send three employees to Phoenix in one vehicle. By forgoing shipping for the exhibit and air transportation for just these three employees, SyracuseCoE will cut 1 ton of carbon, the equivalent of taking 58 cars off the road for one day.

In addition to creating a sustainable exhibit, SyracuseCoE’s environmental impact will be reduced by driving instead of flying three employees and the entire exhibit; by camping during the road trip to lessen use of electricity in hotels; by eating locally and packing up food from the Syracuse Co-op; and by minimizing the number of paper materials to be given away at Greenbuild.

The trip is made possible by a sponsorship from C&S Companies. SyracuseCoE’s presence at Greenbuild is also supported by National Grid and the Metropolitan Development Association.

The trip will be chronicled at http://greenbuildorbust.weebly.com, which will feature details about how SyracuseCoE is cutting its Greenbuild carbon footprint, road trip photos, a blog about the “green” trip to Phoenix and tweets about current locations, bios on the road-trippers and advice for how they can make the experience even more sustainable.

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