Food for a More Sustainable Smith
By Anne Berman '15
Services will soon add to efforts to reduce its carbon footprint
with a pedal-powered cart for transporting supplies to catered
functions around campus, designed and partly built by engineering
The vehicle, dubbed the “cargo cycle,” is the culmination of a yearlong project
by the student organization Engineers for a Sustainable World.
The cargo cycle, designed
and partly built by Engineers for a Sustainable World,
including (pictured left to right): Alexandria Julius
'14, Peace Young '12, and Brittany Bennett '15.
From the beginning,
the project fit perfectly with the club’s objectives. “We saw that catering services
had a need for replacing their fuel-inefficient van with something more environmentally
friendly,” said Brittany Bennett ‘15, president of the club. “And we aim to make
Smith College and the local area a more sustainable place.”
Resembling a giant tricycle,
the vehicle features built-in space for trays between the
two back wheels. Students manufactured the cargo portion,
which was attached to a bicycle frame in the college’s machine shop.
The cargo area is large enough
for supplies to support functions of about 50 people, according
to Ann Finley, are manager in Dining Services.
“I expect that our student worker staff will be very interested in using it to
support our catering events, as well as some of our regular staff who are looking
for exercise and adventure,” said Finley.
Using the cargo cycle will reduce
the need to use catering vans, each of which produces an
average of 13,743 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
“As a department, Dining Services supports sustainability efforts,” said Finley. “That’s
one of the reasons we have been enthusiastic about this project – we feel it
sets a good example and encourages other departments on campus to think outside
Last spring, the project earned
Engineers for a Sustainable World a campus leadership award
that annually recognizes a student organization that “represents the ideals
of sustainable leadership through advocacy, programming or community events.”
Engineers for a Sustainable
World is already at work on its next project: a solar irrigation
system for an apple orchard at the MacLeish Field Station
All students are welcome to
join ESW; email for meeting times and