What do ice cream, a popular music group, an environmental coalition and a University student group all have in common?

Paul Wong
Ben Thompson gives out free ice cream and information on Global Warming in the Diag Friday afternoon.

The answer? The groups came together to bring the One Sweet Whirled Campus Tour to the University last Thursday and Friday, when students on the Diag were treated to free samples of ice cream while they learned about what individuals can do to address the problem of global warming.

The One Sweet Whirled Global Warming campaign is a new Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor named for the Dave Matthews Band, which has partnered with the environmental coalition SaveOurEnvironment.org in order to educate the public about the damaging effects of carbon dioxide emissions on global warming.

The campus tour plans to visit 20 colleges and universities nationwide, and worked with the University student chapter of Public Interest Research Group In Michigan, to bring the tour to the University. PIRGIM works for public interest issues, including governmental reform, consumer rights and environmental concerns.

“The One Sweet Whirled campaign tied in really nicely with our campaign; it brought really good visibility to what we are doing on a campus-wide level to fight global climate change,” PIRGIM member and LSA sophomore Carolyn Hwang said, who was in charge of facilitating the campaign’s visit to campus.

PIRGIM member and LSA senior Duncan Hwang said PIRGIM is currently working on a petition to urge the University to adopt the measures of the Kyoto protocol which would reduce greenhouse gases 7 percent by the year 2008, for which they’ve collected almost 3,000 signatures.

“As part of a broad coalition of environmental groups which Ben & Jerry’s is part of, they can help to support our effort to working towards a sustainable campus,” he said.

Ben & Jerry’s marketing representative Heather Ryan said their current tour of college campuses is a continuation of a similar tour her team did with Dave Matthews Band over the summer, whose single “One Sweet World” from their debut album was the inspiration for the name of the ice cream flavor.

Ryan said students on college campuses have been more receptive to the campaign’s message than Dave Matthews Band concertgoers last summer.

“I think that free food is really a winner, but I also think a lot of college students are open to our message,” she said. “There’s just so much enthusiasm in the student groups we’ve been working with.”

The campaign highlights everyday ways in which individuals can fight carbon dioxide emissions. For example, it suggests that individuals pledge to reduce their personal share of emissions by 5 percent, by doing things like driving less, getting regular tune-ups for cars, turning down the thermostat in the winter, recycling, and turning off computer monitors when not in use. It also encourages people to write letters to congress and to learn more about the issue of global climate change.

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