ACE biobus tour: solar-powered concerts + more!

By Michael LaFemina, Alliance for Climate Education’s dude with the DOTs. Crossposted from the ACE blog.

Between Ethan and me, we’d slept around 20 hours in 4 days to prepare for our bus tour in California… not enough by a long shot, but the adrenaline was pumping because we were about to launch the Connect the DOTs Biobus Tour! That’s right, we’re hitting the road on a 3-week guilt-free road trip on a former school bus converted to run on recycled veggie oil to inspire people to choose their DOTthat’s their Do One Thing to cool the climate.

For those of you who may remember, Ethan Burke – our Bluebird Captain – is no stranger to the veggie-oil-powered adventures. He’s a co-founder of Biotour, a big inspiration to what we’re doing on the Connect the DOTs tour.

Our first event went down this weekend and supported two local organizations in Venice, California. It was a beautiful way to kick off the tour. After a full 1 and a half hour “sleep,” we headed to Venice Beach to support Heal the Bay‘s beach clean up.

While we were getting our hands dirty, a camera crew from NBC Los Angeles filmed us and did a spotlight on the bus in action.

When we were ready to roll on, we realized we must have rocked out a little too hard listening to AshEl Seasunz’s new album, Earth Amplified, because the bus wouldn’t start! Stone cold dead battery. Perfect. Just what we needed – we were supposed to be at Venice High School for an event, we definitely hadn’t slept enough, and here we are showing off a bus that runs on vegetable oil and we can’t even get it to turn on!

Don’t worry, this won’t happen again – we have batteries powered by solar power now hooked into the main system so we won’t drain the bus battery with killer grooves. Get it? A pun…

We tried to start the bus off our reserve batteries, but we got nada. After 10 minutes of trying and some neighborly help from a fellow camper and a good samaritan, we prevailed and rolled over to the Learning Garden at Venice High School.

Here are some pictures from the event – you can see more online at Venice Paparazzi. The best way to catch us on tour is to follow our route online! And to give you a sneak peak of what’s next, we’re heading down to San Diego Wednesday – Saturday, where we’ll be at summer camps, a skate park, and hosting solar-powered concerts.


About Alisha


Alisha is an Educator with Alliance for Climate Education (ACE), a national nonprofit based in Oakland, CA. ACE educates, inspires and activates high school students to help stop global warming. A native of Philly, Alisha graduated from Hamilton College in 2006 with a B.A. in Geoscience and Environmental Studies. Alisha has also worked with MASSPIRG, NWF and the Breakthrough Institute.

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