Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Fueling Cars on Used Veggie Oil, and Shipping Used Shoes to Africa

Moira DeNike
Alex Wise

Sea Change Radio West Coast Correspondent Alex Wise interviews Moira DeNike about fueling a 1985 Mercedes 300 Diesel on waste vegetable oil (or WVO).  Sea Change Co-Host Kelsey Flynn talks to Ric Sustache of Greasecar, which sells kits to convert diesel cars to run on WVO, as well as Laura Douglass, whose experience as a WVO car driver differs in interesting ways from Moira’s.  And Sea Change Host Bill Baue speaks with Michael Aronson about ReRun Sports Shoes, the company he co-founded to collect lightly used shoes and sell them in Guinea, Mali, Congo, Liberia, and Niger, Africa.

Fuel Computer

This past October, when Bill was in San Francisco for 3 conferences in 3 days, he stayed with the new Sea Change Radio West Coast Correspondent Alex Wise.  A biofuel enthusiast, Alex gave Bill a tour of his waste vegetable oil filtering setup in his basement – and Bill regretted not recording the description of the process.  So, Alex tried out his new recording equipment by interviewing his wife, Moira DeNike, who’s equally enthusiastic, about the set-up.

Heated Reserve Tank
Waste Oil Barrel

Alex started by asking Moira to explain how their 1985 Mercedes 300 Diesel runs on WVO.  Moira also described the dashboard fuel computer that switches from the main fuel tank to the heated reserve tank.  She then explained the filtering system built by a friend for about $300.

Clean Oil Barrel

Moira decrobed how the waste oil goes into a big 55 gallon barrel in the basement, gets heated and runs through a 25-micron filter, then a 5-micron filter to become clean veggie oil that ends up in a separate barrel.

Ric Sustache

Digging deeper, we hear a segment that Sea Change Radio Co-Host Kelsey Flynn first produced for her Sustainable Valley segment on WRSI.  She interviewed Ric Sustacheof Greasecar, which was founded in 1998 and helped popularize waste vegetable oil cars by selling conversion kits. Kelsey also talks with Laura Douglass, a WVO car driver who sources grease from her own restaurant.

Michael Aronson (on left)

Finally, we switch gears from re-used veggie oil, to re-used shoes, which Michael Aronson is gathering here in the US to ship across the Atlantic for sale in markets across Africa.  After a recent trip to Africa, Michael visited the WMUA studios where we produce Sea Change Radio to speak with Bill about ReRun Sports Shoes, the company he co-founded last year.

Shoe Market

ReRun collects lightly used shoes and packages them into containers to send to Bamako, Conakry, Dakar and elsewhere in West Africa to sell to microentrepreneurs who them sell them in local markets.

About Bill Baue

Bill Baue is Co-Director of Sea Change Media, a non-profit that makes connections in the shift to social, environmental, and economic sustainability. He co-hosts/produces Sea Change Radio, a nationally syndicated show that podcasts globally.