Friday, January 11, 2008

Radio shows and alternative fuels

Radio is a beautiful place to be...

What an experience! Thank you so much to my friend Monique on Jack FM's Monique and the Man, for having me on their show this morning. My guest spot was short, but hanging out with Monique, Greg, and Sara on the air was something I'll never forget. I can't wait to do that again!

And they just put the video of BABs on their weblog (

Running on veggies...

As many of you know, both my Land Rover and BABs (my Big Ass BuS) can run on used vegetable oil straight out of the restaurant fryer. And, that's a great thing, since many restaurants are just itchin' to get rid of that nasty stuff.

However, as the desire for alternative fuels increases, so does the value of that waste oil. Numerous companies around the country are springing up to collect that used oil and turn it into a profit by turning it into biodiesel. This is great for the environment and the community, but can be a little difficult for guys like me whose vehicles run on that wonderful golden goo.

In many larger cities, and with most chain restaurants, the biodiesel manufacturers and renderers (who also use the oil for other products) already have contracts to pick up the oil from the restaurants. I'm tickled to see that happening, as it shows signs that our dependence on fossil fuels has an alternative outlet. On the other hand, it makes it tougher for me to get the free fuel for my vehicles.

Granted, there are still thousands of restaurants out there who either throw their oil away, or have to pay to have it recycled. And, believe me, I'll be talking with them wherever I go.

But, as I look into my crystal ball, I see waste oil becoming more of a commodity, and I can see restaurants eventually being paid for their used oil. Great for the restaurants, the community, and, to a lesser degree, the companies doing the collecting, but still tough on guys like me.

Now, here's the cool part...
Most people think of veggie oil coming from vegetables. Logical. But, high quality veggie oil can be obtained from algae. Yes algae. And algae can be grown in clear plastic tubes. (If you've ever owned a pool or an aquarium, you know of what I speak.)

So, I look into my crystal ball, and I see the biodiesel manufacturers getting their oil from algae. That means they no longer have to pay for waste oil, which means waste oil once again becomes available to guys like me. It may sound like wishful thinking, but if veggie oil continues to grow as a fuel source, I'll once again be swimmin' in grease.

In the meantime, I need oil to fuel the vehicles. Of course, both will still run on diesel or biodiesel that I can get at the pump, but I want veggie oil. Not only is it better for the environment, but it's FREE!

So, I contacted a company here in San Diego who is collecting used oil from local restaurants in hopes of working out a sponsorship with them. I was hoping to get about 200 gallons of veggie oil and biodiesel from them in exchange for promoting them on my website, my motorhome, my Land Rover, and even talking about them on the radio and TV. I figured it would cost less than $300 for them to hook me up with one load of fuel. Seems like a great deal, right? $300 for national exposure on a high-profile project? That kind of publicity would normally cost thousands.

Unfortunately, they didn't see it that way. I don't fully understand their logic, but I guess they aren't interested in anyone knowing who they are. I'm disappointed, and confused, but, as they say, that's life in the big city.

So, what's next? A couple of days in LA meeting with my publicist and a potential sponsor, and then I'm off to Atlanta!

Oh, I almost forgot... My friend Larry, who owns Ray Street Frame and Print, brought me a few gallons of used peanut oil, which I poured into my filtration tank last night. Thanks Larry!

And to those of you who cook... Save me your oil!

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