I saw the postings here about green vacations and had to contribute.
Three years ago, I bought a 1984 Volkswagen Jetta and had it converted to run on vegetable oil (WVO). The theory behind this process is that, regardless of whether or not WVO is cleaner when it burns–which, in some ways, it is, and in other ways, it isn’t–you’re not putting any new carbon into the air. To really be enviro-friendly, you need to use true WVO (which stands for waste vegetable oil). Without going too much more into detail, the point:
I’m baffled at how simple the process is. The mechanics did the conversion using only plumbing equipment and some solenoids. I was also amazed at how easy it was to get oil. Restaurants have to pay to have their used oil taken away and disposed of properly, so many of them are willing to give it away for free.
So, in short, for three years, I drove more or less for free and at an overall benefit to the environment (compared to a traditional car). The technology was, to put it mildly, absolutely nothing fancy. The car was from 1984.
So my question . . . are we now moving backwards?
Many people don’t know (I didn’t until recently) that gasoline engines were developed because gasoline is actually a byproduct in the production of kerosine. In other words, we had too much of it sitting around while we were making kerosine for our lamps and so forth, so the gasoline engine was developed to put it to good use. AND WE’RE STILL USING IT.
And so, as the automotive industry continues to develop big 4×4 cars and trucks, Hummers . . . you get the picture . . . I wonder if we’re even trying to move forward. Why can two guys with plumbing equipment and simple electronics develop a satisfying car (with an engine from 1984) that is better for the environment than a 2011 gas car?
One that is better, even, than most hybrids . . . thoughts to ponder, thoughts to ponder . . .
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