Grease Not Gas- One Step at a Time
The world is slowly warming up. In the arctic regions, ice is starting to melt and polar bears and indigenous creatures are beginning to suffer due to the warming temperatures. However there are other creatures that are suffering from global warming, but in their hearts; these creatures are known as snowboarders.
Every Friday from December until March, my friends and I take the hour trip to Ellicottville, where the Holiday Valley ski resort is located. This tradition has been in place for upwards of 5 years. However, in recent winters we realized that snowfall was less, and the snowboarding season was shortening each year. This is where our effort to reduce the effects of global warming began.
Global Warming is a widely discussed topic. It’s been debated that the entire concept is a myth, and also that there’s nothing we can do about it. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Studies show that we are the main reason for it. Industrialization, deforestation and pollution are the major players in global warming. These processes let off harmful gases that intensify the greenhouse effect. Future winters are in dire jeopardy, according to these facts. Fortunately, the current “going green” movement has the potential to be helpful in the long run. From this movement, Grease Not Gas was born; a company that focuses on running diesel cars with an alternative fuel- vegetable oil.
Grease Not Gas, which was founded in 2000 by Mike Parziale, (a snowboarder himself), is working to spread the news about their cause throughout the nation. Many articles have been written in newspapers and magazines about Grease Not Gas, including SNOWBOARDER magazine. Each issue has a section devoted to global warming, where Grease Not Gas is regularly featured.
Not only is the company helping to deter the effects of global warming, they also save money- big time. While the price of gas rises, vegetable oil costs nothing. Any restaurant with a deep fryer pays money to have their leftover grease disposed of, and all you need to do is go in and ask to take it off their hands free of charge. I’m sure a restaurant owner wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to save money. Some places even let you leave sealable buckets there and will drain it into them for you.
On their website at http://www.greasenotgas.com, you can find pictures, videos, and a complete how-to on turning your diesel car into a “veggie mobile”. A few wise investments and modifications to your car, and you’ll be paying absolutely nothing for gas soon after. The truth- converting your car from diesel to grease is no simple task. It takes a lot of determination and concentration, but “once you get it down, it’s easy and it’s cool, because you can drive across the country without paying for fuel, no problem.”
(Mike Parziale, SNOWBOARDER magazine, December 07 issue)
Originally, Mike created Grease Not Gas so he could drive anywhere, not pay for gasoline, and snowboard with his friends. However, over time it turned into his job. He is very passionate about the cause, and uses the fuel savings to travel and go on tours to educate adults and children alike on its benefits.
Purchasing a diesel vehicle may not be an option for you. It sure isn’t for me or my friends, based on our minimum wage salaries. However, there are many other things you can do to help reduce the effects of global warming; recycle, carpool, use public transportation, or use CFL light bulbs in your home to reduce energy usage.
CFL light bulbs are Compact Fluorescent light bulbs. If every home in America replaced one regular light bulb with a CFL bulb, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the equivalent of more than 800,000 cars (http://www.energystar.gov).
There are many things we can all do to help reverse the effects of global warming. All that is needed is a little cooperation and determination. We did this to ourselves, and we owe it to winter, wildlife, and the human race to attempt to reverse it.