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 DOT – that’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.