Musician and performance artist, travels the country in her veggie bus
Michele Wilde has taken her cause on the road, driving around the country in a converted school bus that is powered by used vegetable oil that she collects (for free) from restaurants.
“I think it actually runs smoother,” Wilde said of the vegetable oil fuel.
Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, Wilde is a performance artist who was recently in the area en route to Mexico. Her next stop is the West Coast.
She demonstrated how her system works. Attached to her diesel engine is an additional tank for the used vegetable oil. She starts her engine on diesel fuel and special heater hoses from the engine warm the vegetable oil. Once warm, she switches over to the vegetarian diet and off she goes.
When she first fired it up she took a 90-mile ride without so much as a hiccough.
Wilde uses music, song and even puppets to get her message across. Traveling the country she stops to perform, playing her guitar and spreading the word. She feels that the more information people have the more likely they will be to explore alternative fuels.
“Everything that we use is made from petroleum,” Wilde said. “Where I live in western Massachusetts, one of the companies that make conversion kits is located there. It’s a very progressive area. Everyone knows about it. A lot of people have cars that run on vegetable oil.”
She said that it is not uncommon for a Mercedes or Volkswagen to drive by that smells like French fries, and it becomes immediately obvious they are running on vegetable oil.
She is currently recording a DVD that demonstrates how to convert a vehicle and includes songs and music to help educate others and promote her cause.
“When you are a creative being you figure out, ‘how do I make this work?’” Wilde said, describing her philosophy.
“It’s really important for me to feel that I’m being part of the bigger picture. We are connected to the Earth, that’s where get everything and that’s where we go back. That’s a very core primary value in me. So of course I’m going to want to do things in a more environmental way – and a cheap way,” she said with a chuckle.