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3rd Annual Chicago Veggie Car Show! WooHoo!

This is going to be a blast.

Chicago Biofuels is hosting their 3rd Annual Veggie Car Show this weekend!

Chicago 3rd Annual Veggie Car Show!

Chicago 3rd Annual Veggie Car Show!

Almost 2 years ago I bought a 2003 Diesel VW Golf with the intention of realizing my long-held dream of cruising on reclaimed vegetable oil and bio-diesel.  It’s been one of the best investments I’ve made in life and one of the most entertaining/educational projects I’ve undertaken.

Not that it was easy.  It was killer.  A proper garage, with the proper tools, and experience installing the components could have meant a weekend job.  It took me a month here and there.  But it’s been a dream since. I thank the great team at “Greasecar” out in Massachusetts for all their help and great pre-fabricated components.

Diesel is wonderful, wonderful technology, and a very attractive patch for our currently hemorrhaging global condition.  I’ll only get on my soapbox briefly here, but huge swaths of the world population realized the need for efficient vehicles decades ago, and somehow (no surprise, right?) America went ass-backward down the road to a glorious future and started churning out  uninspired, inefficient, wasteful and unattractive models.

My family’s first car was a diesel Rabbit.  I was taken home from the hospital in that thing.  It got almost 40 miles per gallon in 1980, and now somehow Americans are impressed that GMC can produce a vehicle with 25+.  Bravo.

I’m no conspiracy theorist.  I’m not smart, crazy, or dedicated enough.  But I know there’s been a severe lack of research into bio-diesel as a primary fuel resource in this country.  Up until now, the biter end.  The human species is wonderful at procrastinating, and our country, the U S of A, seems intent on claiming some title for most stubborn in not planning ahead.  Why a fuel crisis?  Why a fuel shortage emergency?  It’s the same game as in ’73, and somehow Americans are still shocked that they’d have to consider changing their behavior and supporting alternative sources for fuel.

It’s not because Americans like paying more for gas.  It’s not because they like waiting in longer and longer lines each summer.  It’s not because they like smoggin’ up the environment.  It’s because they’re duped into thinking petroleum consumption is somehow “American.”  That efficiency is for hippies, liberals, Socialists and the French.

But that’s not working anymore.  When I pulled up to a little 2-pump station in rural Missouri last month, the old fellas (yes, in overalls) and 2 teenage boys were shocked, perplexed, and then very impressed that I was filling this future-mobile with diesel.  “Yup,” I said, “and in fact, I haven’t used more than a drop of real diesel in 700 miles, seeing as I drove down here on used Soybean oil.”  That blew them away.  “40 miles per gallon,” I said, “and you can do it yourself.”

“America” isn’t supposed to be about buying into bullshit. Not at its core.

And it can no longer be equated with waste and consumption.  At it’s core, it’s about independence. I’m pretty secure in my nationality.  And I’ve got to say, when I zoom past some schmuck in an Escalade off the green light, park in some spot that a Hummer couldn’t even fit a tire, or fly past another corporately owned “Chug n Blow Diabetes & Flammable Liquid Emporium” on the side of the highway, a very real sense of pride wells up inside me.Veggie Car Show!

Now if I can only convince one of my friends to lay seductively all over my car, or maybe wear a cowboy hat and rock out on guitar from the roof of my VW Golf, I think we might just start a revolution here in the Midwest.  *Bikini model and country singer wanted.*

Who’s with me? (psst- I’m the one at the end)

Posted in Eco-Tourism, Sustainable Business, Travel.

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