Day 72: Change Your Fuel, Change The WorldAugust 31, 2011 12:10 am Comments Off
Our day started with a full cooked breakfast at Grant Village Campground in Yellowstone. Two of Meegan’s friends were visiting from Bozeman and they’d brought the world of gourmet camping with them – our fire-charred bacon was trumped by fresh pancakes! It was also a notable morning as we did laundry. Some of us even showered. Though $2 for 6 minutes seemed a little excessive.. way too many minutes!
From the campsite we all piled back onto the Bus for a drive down south. But not until being told off for over-occupying our campsite by the rangers – they saw ’13 Students. 1 veggie-powered bus. 12,000 miles. All for a greener tomorrow.’ on the side of the Bus and assumed that all 13 of us were squeezed in the one campsite! But we were actually down to 7 bussers for our stay in Yellowstone.
We drove out of the park through the south entrance, taking us straight into Grand Teton National Park. What a spectacular place. Me and Meegs had our noses glued to the window, and were so jealous of Joey, who was biking from Yellowstone down to Jackson (67 miles, after a 110 miles the day before going around the Yellowstone caldera drive!) We went through thick forest, open meadows and river valleys, spotting bison, elk and snowy peaks. Those Tetons sure are grand.
Along our way we pulled into the Jackson Lake Lodge, a beautiful old world park lodge. After talking to kitchen staff, the front-desk girls and recycling staff we found a good 30 gallons of grease in a drum out back. The crackle test we do to test for water showed a tiny bit of water in the oil but we’re desperate for fuel so we decided to pump anyway – into our V-bottomed tank where the water may have a chance to settle out of the oil. Pumping then turned into a two-hour endeavor when we realized that pretty much every filter we have needed changing! Lumps of grease, fat and puddles of oil later.. we were on our way down to the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose, WY!
There we met up with Alicia Cox and Phil Cameron from the Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition. They had been awesome enough to invite us down to the area for an event, and worked with the National Park Service to get us a spot to park the Bus at their incredible new centre. We had a really successful event, with everyone from the Superintendent of Grand Teton National Park to a family from Boston who’d read about us when we went through there in June! It was also fantastic to meet a number of people from other local conservation organizations, including the Murie Centre and the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance. I love it when people already recruited to the cause come onto the Bus as conversation goes that extra level. I thought we were going to be challenged more this summer, and meeting with other people working in the same field is a great way to bring more challenging questions onto the Bus!
This was one of my favorite events ever as it didn’t finish when we closed up the Bus. We then went on inside to the state of the art visitor centre to watch Fuel in their new auditorium. I got to say a few words at the beginning to introduce the Bus which was fun! It’s amazing how much easier public speaking is when you’ve spent all summer talking to hundreds of people you don’t know.
Anyway, Fuel. I don’t even know where to begin. This film blew my mind in so many ways. First off was the opening graphics which stated ‘Change your fuel. Change the world.’ That was the BGB slogan for many years and none of us had any idea the Bus hadn’t come up with it! Then Josh Tickell was introduced, author of ‘From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank’, the defining piece of literature on using waste vegetable oil as fuel. He cruised around the country for more than two years in the ‘Veggie Van’ promoting alternative fuels. Eerily familiar. The film then goes on to touch on almost every aspect of the alternative energy debate – from national security and human health to agriculture and hurricanes… to a complete set of solutions. It’s emotional, striking, devastating and inspiring, all at the same time. Many of us were in tears at the end of the movie, and completely flabbergasted by the fact none of us had seen it before!
I cannot encourage all of you enough to watch this movie. You’ll struggle after to not change the way you think and feel at the fuel pump. And luckily, you can watch it online for free! Spread the love.
PS: And when you’re done watching Fuel (or before!), make sure to sign this petition against the Keystone XL pipeline. As you’ll see, we don’t need filthy oil. And when the people lead, their leaders will follow.