Environment

The Algae Biodiesel Westfalia Camper Van

David Levine's road trip from the high school where he teaches to Chicago's landmark Sears Tower was a short drive for man - about 20 miles round trip - but perhaps a giant step for mankind.

It's also a cool account of biofuels being used to fill the tank of a VW van.

As the story goes, Levine's students at the Al Raby School for Community and Environment in Garfield Park, Illinois started culturing algae in their chemistry class at the beginning of their junior year.

The appeal of algae fuel over other more conventional sources of biodiesel is obvious: algae's not a food crop like, say, corn and soybeans.  continue reading... »

Jeff Johnson's "Bend to Baja" Proves Popular

The bad news? The entire first print run of Jeff Johnson's intriguing road trip tale, Bend to Baja, has sold out

The good news? Johnson advised me that he is in the midst of doing a second run and it should be ready in summer 2009.

I am keen to get my hands on the book because, according to the promotional blurb:

"Bend to Baja documents a surf-inspired road trip along the West Coast of North America. In February 2005, Jeff Johnson, the Malloy brothers and their friends left Ventura, California for Bend, Oregon. From Oregon, the crew went south to the tip of Baja, looking for waves and rock climbing in a pickup truck converted to run on alternative fuel sources: veggie oil and bio-diesel."  continue reading... »

Media Spotlight Shines on Driven to Sustain Road Trip

The Driven to Sustain road trip pulled into Toronto this week and the Big Smoke media clearly liked their eco-friendly story.

As we noted in a a story last month, Canadians Tyson Jerry and Cloe Whittaker are roadtrippin across North America in a Mitsubishi Delica diesel van that has been converted to run on Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO).

They are relying on free WVO from local restaurants to fill their tank and are aiming to break the current world record for "Longest Journey by Car on Alternative Fuel", which is 38,137 kilometres.  continue reading... »

Westfalia VERDIER Solar Power Vans Soon on the Road

In an article in June we reported on the Westfalia VERDIER Solar Power van than had been prototyped by Montreal industrial design company, VERDIER Light Caravaning.

In an story on green RV-ing in the NY Times on Friday, Alexandre Verdier, the van's designer, said that he is currently negotiating with a manufacturer and that the vans should be available in summer 2009.

According to the company's website, they will be making only 250 vans in the first production run.  continue reading... »

Green Road Trips Raise Awareness About the Environment

One road trip across North America to raise awareness about the environment is just getting started, while another green minded road trip has just wrapped up.

Canadians Tyson Jerry and Cloe Whittaker departed from Victoria, British Columbia on a four month environmentally friendly road trip across North America, which they are calling "Driven to Sustain".

They are riding in a Mitsubishi Delica diesel van that has been converted to run on Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO). Their goal is to try and break the current world record for "Longest Journey by Car on Alternative Fuel" which currently stands at 38,137 kilometres and they have already invested over $40,000 of their own funds to see it through.  continue reading... »

Offsets Can Reduce Carbon Footprint of Road Trip

Roadtrippers Karin Catchpole and Eric Mohl are buying carbon offsets to reduce the impact of their Trans-Americas Journey.

The money they use to purchase offsets is spent on carbon-reducing projects such as renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation initiatives.

Although actual greenhouse gas emission reductions should be the primary goal, carbon offsets are seen as an important component of most GHG reduction strategies.

Catchpole and Mohl are using the offset projects available though the Chicago Climate Exchange ("CCX") to reduce their carbon footprint.  continue reading... »

Family of Four Bicycling from Alaska to Argentina


The most eco-friendly way to road trip is...on a bike.

And bicycles are the transportation of choice for the Vogel family from Boise, Idaho who intend to spend the next two and half years cycling from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina.

John, Nancy and 10-year old twins, Davy and Daryl left home on June 8, 2008 on two single bikes and one tandem.  continue reading... »

EcoFuel World Tour


Names: Rainer Zietlow, Falk Gunold, Florian Hilpert and Franz Janusiewicz
Home Country: Germany

Name of Trip: EcoFuel World Tour

Destination/Purpose of the Trip: To drive around the world in a Volkswagen Caddy EcoFuel that runs on compressed natural gas.  continue reading... »

Could Your Camper Van Become A Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle?

If things unfold according to plan, Ulrik Poulsen and the rest of the team at Poulsen Hybrid, Inc. will, in Fall 2008, take a key baby step in keeping the roadtrippin dream alive in our new low-carbon reality.

That is when the Shelton, Connecticut based company intends to start selling an after-market kit that can convert any vehicle into a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV).

While the kit can be used on "any traditional automobile, wheel size 15” or larger, including front drive, rear drive, all wheel drive, any fuel, and hybrids", the company notes that the first generation system is designed primarily for compact cars and light mid-size sedans.  continue reading... »

The "Westfalia VERDIER Solar Power" Van


Montreal industrial design company, VERDIER Light Caravaning, has designed a revolutionary Westfalia Bus that is powered by green energy.

Labeled the "Westfalia VERDIER Solar Power", the van has a hybrid engine that runs on fuel and electricity. It also has solar panels on the roof that provide electricity to the on-board accessories when the vehicle is stationary.

According to its website, the company "has set for itself the goal of enhancing the field of the light recreational vehicle" and, along with being powered by green energy, the "Westfalia VERDIER Solar Power" Bus has several new design features that make it sleeker and more livable,  continue reading... »