Tuesday, January 20, 2009

bioTrekker in Tampa!

Hey everyone,

I too agree that this blog has fallen into disuse the past few months, but I'll try to fill in some of the details as time and my new job at The University of Florida permit. I just spent a week at the FRVTA (Florida Recreational Vehicle Trade Association) Super Show (the largest in the US), and so I'm once again recharged with a desire to move forward in the promotion of biodiesel as well as other alternative energy solutions. I was impressed by the desire of many of the attendees along with some of the exhibitors to continue to think green and all that entails for the RV Industry.

Back at the University of Florida, I took a 4pm to Midnight shift Manager's job at the Reitz Student Union to allow me to make some money during this economic downturn as well as give me a chance to meet with Faculty, Staff, and Students at UF who were interested in talking about alternatives to fossil fuel. Following one of the mantras of the Sixties to; Think Globally, Act Locally, I'm in the initial stages of discussion of how to make biofuel-producing Algae from waste treatment water and then use that biofuel to run local vehicles like the Gainesville School Buses and the RTS (Regional Transit System) Commuter Buses. I'll keep posting and promoting this idea, and any help you out there in cyberspace could give me would be very much appreciated.

That's all for now, take care and all the best!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ideas for Obama

Hi everyone,

So this blog has fallen into neglect, we are mostly using the blog at soltrekker.org these days, but I thought I'd update here as well for a while.

Among our latest activities is making a suggestion on the Obama administration change.gov. Please see our posting and vote for it if you think it's something that the administration should consider. Click here for the link.

And make your own suggestions as well! It seems like there aren't a lot of specific ideas being proposed, so if you have one that is even half-way thought-out, it probably has a good shot at getting noticed.

Best wishes for a wonderful 2009.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Makin' BioDiesel and then onto Vermont!

Wow, what a busy two weeks it's been. After stopping in Atlanta to chat with The Weather Channel and then a quick stop to see an old college friend in Charlotte, I made it to a little town just southeast of Greensboro, NC, to find out first hand how biodiesel is made. The co-op is Piedmont Biodiesel (http://www.biofuels.coop), and I met some great people 'Saving the Planet, one French Fry at a Time'. There were staff, interns and local coop members eager to convert a lot of dark brown sludge into gallons of clear, yellow liquid that can power diesel engines. After two days of helping out, I received some fuel in payment and on up the road I went, to where I was raised... Vermont.

I arrived in the Green Mountain State just in time for a Memorial Day Weekend Parade, where I heard shouts of praise and cheers as the bioTrekker went smokelessly down the parade route, especially after following a group of military trucks belching black clouds of carbon monoxide as they shifted gears. I want to Thank Peter at Ehler's RV in Essex Jct., VT, for the opportunity to once again show off the bioTrekker, looking cleaner and greener than ever.

My final stop of this entry was a Reunion at my alma mater, The University of Vermont. For three days I explained how the bioTrekker was an educational platform to promote the use of biodiesel and other alternative energy solutions as well as ways to help save the environment starting right in your own home. While I was there, I met Gioia Thompson, Director, Office of Sustainability at UVM, who invited me to help her out this summer and fall to promote causes that impact positively on the environment here in Vermont, so check back for future updates!
East Coast bioTrekker

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Michael's Interview with Forecast Earth

Hey Trekkers,

On the bioTrekker's current northern trek up the eastern seaboard, I had an opportunity to visit The Weather Channel (TWC) offices in Atlanta on May 15th. Thanks to a great contact Ty had set up with TWC, I was able to schedule this visit and give an interview when I arrived. I had a bit of a problem finding the place as my GPS could not (or would not, grrr...), find the exact location, but after an hour of driving around the neighborhood, I saw three satellite dishes and thought, "This must be the place."

I met Dedra, who did the interview and Rodney, the cameraman, at 9 a.m., and they made me feel very comfortable from the onset. We spoke about the bioTrekker and Rodney took some great 'B roll' of the motor coach for a future segment on TWC's 'Forecast Earth'.

When I find out the broadcast date, I'll let y'all know!


Thursday, May 1, 2008

bioTrekker gets a little bit of 'Sol'

The 'Beast in the East' bioTrekker got a little more 'Eco-friendly' today as a solar panel was installed to take this Trekker 'off the grid' as it travels around the eastern U.S. this summer.

The 80 watt Sunforce Solar Charger Kit with it's ability to absorb light all day, even in cloudy or rainy weather, is another step I've taken to make the bioTrekker more fuel efficient, as I won't have to run the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit, which runs on biodiesel), to charge the batteries, as well as not having to plug in the RV either.

I'll continue to add future enviro-upgrades as funds, or hopefully sponsorships, start coming in. Although I may not be able to include all the features Ty has planned for the 'Best in the West' solTrekker, I'll follow his lead as I'm able.
He's a great mentor.


P.S. Check back later this month as I may have a few more surprises in store!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earth Day 2008

Hey Trekker Fans,

Michael Wolbach, the east coast bioTrekker here. This is my first post, so be patient with me as I try blogging on a regular basis. I'm in Orlando, Florida at the present time, but I'll be traveling north in just a few weeks, so stay tuned...

To kick off the 2008 Trekker travel season here the eastern U.S., I participated in an Earth Day presentation at Hunter's Creek Middle School in Orlando, Florida. The 6th, 7th, and 8th grade science classes rotated out during the day to listen to me talk about my 'Reeducation Upside-Down Pyramid', which is a compilation of waste management terms as well as my own research as an alternative to the buy, use, and throw away society which our world, for the most part, has become.

The young students were very attentive and a few of them asked some very poignant questions, including the debate about using food stocks like corn and soybeans to create fuels like biodiesel and ethanol verses using them to feed an ever growing and hungry population. Another concern was the overuse of water bottles and other 'one time' use products made from petroleum-based plastics verses creating 'vegetable-based' products, along with creating more reusable types.

All in all it was a wonderful day, with eager and creative minds thinking of ways to reduce not only their own personal carbon footprint, but those of their family, school, community, state, country and world, a real 'Think Globally, Act Locally', attitude that we're going to need to help foster in the coming months and years.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Raising the Roof

No, the roof is not on fire, but it might as well be. We were gifted our first big surprise on the SolTrekker build last week when we found out that the entire roof is pretty much crapola. And by crapola, I mean waterlogged plywood. It turns out that if you have a Filon roof (also a synonym for crapola) you should be sealing it at least once every two years, something that the original owner wasn't aware of, either. If you don't, you get lots of pinhole leaks that slowly turn your roof to soggy mushrooms even if you never see any evidence of water damage. It's only when your unsuspecting friend steps through the roof while helping you to remove an awning that you get to experience the joy of discovery. Maybe they should just make the roofs out of fungus right from the start?

Anyway, thanks to the awesome techs at Monaco Coach, we're getting a new roof in record time, but it still sets the project back a few weeks. We're still aiming to be at the Greener Homes and Gardens Show in Portland on May 17, but it'll be tight. Stay tuned.