Friday, June 8, 2007

There's No Place Like The Road

We are in Kansas, Toto. It's the Wakarusa music and camping festival set in beautiful Lawrence, Kansas. We've got a crack team of biodiesel advocates: Allison, Nash, and three new friends, Theresa, Suzy and Kenny. The weather is fine and the festival folk are friendly, although we've had a couple stumblers walk up. One girl looked at the biodiesel samples and thought we were selling apple juice. Another late-nighter walked up to Allison and said, "Will it make me go 'vroom?'” Wobble, wobble, wobble. “Will you go 'vroom' with me?"

Tomorrow, we'll do some hands-on demonstrations and make some biodiesel batches with the leftover grease from the vendor tents selling curly fries and coney dogs and funnel cakes. Mmmmm. There will definitely be photos to follow.

Lovin' Lovins

One of my newest heroes plays with Orangutans. In addition to being an advocate for 'higher primates,' Amory Lovins is one of the foremost energy experts and renewable energy advocates in the country -- he's written several visionary books and founded the Rocky Mountain Institute, which I recommend everyone have a look at online. There are some amazing things happening at this place.

Lovins house near Carbondale, Colorado is also an amazing example of the possible. I just parked the 'trekker there for a few days to visit my latest business partner and 'brother in bio' Nash Evans, who is the in-house contractor at RMI. The house is 4,000 square feet and has an average utility bill of $5 a month. It's an earth bermed building with an indoor greenhouse that acts as a passive solar heater. It also has several enormous solar PV arrays, and solar thermal hot water heating. There's an indoor stream and koi pond (with turtle!) a hot tub, an enormous energy efficient fridge, etc. Basically, it's the kind of house I've been building in my mind for several years now. It's also got a 500-year life span. I did get some photos, which I'll be posting soon, but the house is being remodeled, so it doesn't look quite as beautiful as it will in a year.

Lovins' residence also serves as an office for RMI employees, and will soon re-open to the public for tours. It's a huge inspiration, and I'd recommend it (and all of Lovins' work) to anyone who is looking for an example of uplifiting human progress.