Veggie-powered van stops for students -The Peterborough Examiner
Would you like a cleaner, healthier world with that?
Like many people who drive across Canada, Tyson Jerry and Cloe Whittaker of Victoria, B.C., often stop along the way at fast food restaurants.
But rather than picking up food, Jerry and Whittaker fill up their van with discarded cooking oil instead.
Jerry said most of the oil comes from franchises of New York Fries, who sponsor the couple's efforts.
"They didn't give us any money, but they certainly gave us as much grease as we want," he said.
Using this material for fuel, Jerry and Whittaker have driven their Mitsubishi Delica across North America.
Late last month, they broke the Guinness world record for longest journey by an automobile using alternative fuel, after racking up more than 38,000 kilometres.
Along the way, they've been stopping at schools and promoting sustainable, green living, with a campaign entitled Driven to Sustain.
They are currently touring Ontario, stopping at about 25 schools. On Friday they spoke to local students at St. Peter's, Holy Cross and Crestwood high schools.
Whittaker said the project has helped them combine some of their passions into something with a positive purpose.
"We're passionate about travelling and talking to people and meeting students," she said.
"It's a huge awareness campaign," Jerry, 26, told about 125 students at Holy Cross.
Their presentation included a slide show with information on sustainability, including suggestions on reducing one's impact on the environment.
Jerry told the students that when countries like China and India -- with large populations and growing economies -- try to improve their quality of life, the planet won't be able to sustain the demand.
"There's no way we could have half the world living like North Americans," he said.
Their talk also included a game in which the audience was asked to identify both corporate logos and wild animals found in Canada. Not surprisingly, the students were much faster at recalling the brand names.
After the presentation, the students went outside to examine the van. Jerry and Whittaker must filter and heat the oil before they can use it, requiring extra equipment.
Otherwise, the van's diesel engine accepts the fuel normally. Jerry said the van gets about 25 miles per gallon.
The couple first attempted the trek in 2008, but were sidetracked by a mechanical problem (unrelated to fuel) which required rebuilding the van's engine. They started again six months ago.
Their goal is to travel through every province, state and territory in the U.S. and Canada.