Oil and Water – Biofuels Odyssey
The near completion of Leg 1 is a notable achievement, but O+WP’s advocacy and pro-active alternative fuels/energy presentations (given entirely in Spanish) deserve more attention. The main goal of the tour is to educate by example that people can reduce their energy dependency throughout the world, without changing their lifestyles. O+WP has stayed true to this main goal by completing a total of 6 US Embassy visits/presentations (El Salvador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina), visited 32 schools with 9,455 students, as well as held press conferences in 14 major cities along their route and appeared on numerous national television outlets throughout their journey.
“Energy consumption is one of the biggest problems in the world,” explain Seth Warren, co-founder of the Oil + Water Project. “The more energies we can all find to curb our dependence on fossil fuels, the better off we will all be. And so when we found out that we can fuel our truck with waste vegetable oil for free, it was a no-brainer. Each kilometer our rig makes it down the road, the better proof that we have that vegetable oil works!”
O+WP has stayed true to this main goal by completing a total of 6 US Embassy visits/presentations (El Salvador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina), visited 32 schools with 9,455 students, as well as held press conferences in 14 major cities along their route and appeared on numerous Central and South America national television outlets throughout their journey.
Along their route, O+WP has encountered firsthand numerous success stories of individuals and organizations embodying the switch towards bio-fuels.
Guatemala Bio-diesel, for example, uses all the waste oil from Frito-Lay to have large-scale production of Bio-diesel in Guatemala City.
In Honduras, locals are using pre-colonial African palm plantations that were formerly used for the production of soap and vegetable oil to now produce Bio-diesel to be used in public transportation. In Cali, Colombia, the Center for International Agriculture in the Tropics (CIAT) is researching ways to increase the energy potential for Bio-Ethanol by using solar heat to reduce the amount of energy needed for production. CIAT is conducting this research by using 100% waste oil from local coffee plantations to produce Bio-Ethanol. O+WP also visited La Molina University in Peru where a presentation was given to students who had a specific major offered in Biofuels Production. Perhaps the largest showing was given to over 2,000 students in El Alto, Bolivia where the US Ambassador and the Mayor of the town drove the rig into the presentation site with Seth and Tyler standing on top waving to the crowd like rock stars.
Not only focusing on education and awareness, O+WP is also a lifestyle tour that recreates (kayaking and surfing) in some of the most beautiful natural environments (rivers and oceans). O+WP has successfully kayaked a total of 37 whitewater rivers from Alaska to Chile, 2 first descents (previously unrun), and surfed in a total of 14 different ocean locations from Mexico to Peru.
With a top speed of 50 miles per hour, the O+WP began a long slow cruise southward in July 2006, from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska heading down to Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina, wrapping up Leg 1 of the Americas tour at the end of March 2007. With a current odometer reading of 73,000 kilometers and only 2,000 kilometers left, O+WP proves that even the most ambitious lifestyle tour can be completed exclusively on Bio-fuels.
The Oil + Water Project (O+WP) is a worldwide journey conducted by Seth Warren and Tyler Bradt using a converted fire truck that can run on 100% vegetable oil. The Biofuels-only demonstration vehicle travels for up to 2,000 miles before needing to refuel the storage compartments. The legendary rig features an on-board vegetable oil seed press, a large Plexiglas demonstration window, 180-gallons of fuel storage, and an expandable side tent and rooftop two-room tent.
To follow along with the Oil + Water Project south of the border, go to: www.oilandwaterproject.org/blog
Major sponsors of the tour are CLIFBAR, KAVU, KEEN, MSR.