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Table Of Contents

Preparation
Burlington, Vermont, to Waterloo, New York
Waterloo, New York, to Chicago, Illinois
Errand 1: The Ultimate Green Home
Chicago, Illinois, to Worthington, Minnesota
Errand 2: Wind Power
Worthington, Minnesota, to North Platte, Nebraska
Errand 3: Ethanol
North Platte, Nebraska, to Golden, Colorado
Errand 4: Find “Fence Swingers”
Golden, Colorado, to Little America, Wyoming
Little America, Wyoming, to Lovelock, Nevada
Errand 6: Green Wal-Mart?
Lovelock, Nevada, to Berkeley, California
The Final Errand: The Letter
P. 1
Greasy Rider; Two Dudes, One Fry-Oil-Powered Car, and a Cross-Country Search for a Greener Future

Greasy Rider; Two Dudes, One Fry-Oil-Powered Car, and a Cross-Country Search for a Greener Future

Ratings:

3.54

(34)
|Views: 43|Likes:
Published by Workman Publishing
Is it possible to drive coast-to-coast without stopping at a single gas pump? Journalist Greg Melville is determined to try. With his college buddy Iggy riding shotgun, this green-thinking guy—who's in love with the idea of free fuel—sets out on an enlightening road trip. The quest: to be the first people to drive cross-country in a french-fry car. Will they make it from Vermont to California in a beat-up 1985 Mercedes diesel station wagon powered on vegetable oil collected from restaurant grease Dumpsters along the way? More important, can two guys survive 192 consecutive hours together? Their expedition on and off the road includes visits to the solar-powered Google headquarters; the National Ethanol Council; the wind turbines of southwestern Minnesota; the National Renewable Energy Lab; a visit to one of the first houses to receive platinum certification for leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED); an "eco-friendly" Wal-Mart; and the world's largest geothermal heating system. Part adventure and part investigation of what we're doing (or not doing) to preserve the planet, Greasy Rider is upbeat, funny, and full of surprising information about sustainable measures that are within our reach.
Is it possible to drive coast-to-coast without stopping at a single gas pump? Journalist Greg Melville is determined to try. With his college buddy Iggy riding shotgun, this green-thinking guy—who's in love with the idea of free fuel—sets out on an enlightening road trip. The quest: to be the first people to drive cross-country in a french-fry car. Will they make it from Vermont to California in a beat-up 1985 Mercedes diesel station wagon powered on vegetable oil collected from restaurant grease Dumpsters along the way? More important, can two guys survive 192 consecutive hours together? Their expedition on and off the road includes visits to the solar-powered Google headquarters; the National Ethanol Council; the wind turbines of southwestern Minnesota; the National Renewable Energy Lab; a visit to one of the first houses to receive platinum certification for leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED); an "eco-friendly" Wal-Mart; and the world's largest geothermal heating system. Part adventure and part investigation of what we're doing (or not doing) to preserve the planet, Greasy Rider is upbeat, funny, and full of surprising information about sustainable measures that are within our reach.

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Publish date: Oct 21, 2008
Added to Scribd: Jun 04, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9781565126695
List Price: $15.95

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01/19/2015

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justpeachy_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
This is the story of the author’s cross-country trip in his 1985 Mercedes 300TD with his friend Iggy. Sounds normal enough, right? Well the car runs on restaurant grease, which Greg and Iggy pump from grease dumpsters as they make their way across the country. There are many hiccups in their trip. The quality of grease they get from the restaurants is sometimes very poor and often unusable. There are frequent mechanical problems. The story of the road trip is sprinkled with other environmental expeditions undertaken by the author. He visits Al Gore’s enormous mansion in Tennessee, a wind farm in Minnesota, and a green Wal-Mart in Texas. He visits Google headquarters in California, where more than 9,000 solar panels generate energy that is sold back to the grid. The premise of the book was quite fascinating to me, although the execution was a little awkward. Still, it’s pretty amazing that someone can drive from one coast to another using only restaurant grease as fuel.
karenball_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
The author and his college best friend, Iggy, travel from Vermont to California in a 1985 Mercedes diesel station wagon that's been converted to run on vegetable oil. Their goal is to travel the entire way fueled by used (filtered) restaurant grease donations. On the way, Iggy challenges Greg to find out about renewable energy projects and "green" projects all over the country, and the story jumps back and forth between those trips to find out more about places like the Google headquarters and the wind farms on the northern plains, and a disappointing investigation of Al Gore's Tennessee mansion's energy use (he's not as green as he thinks he is, apparently). This is an awesome road trip story, as well as a story about what people are doing now to conserve, recycle and use renewable energy sources. I think my favorite part (other than laughing out loud at some of the things that happened to Greg and Iggy on the road) was the visit to Google headquarters... now THAT'S a place I'd love to see! Iggy, by the way, is Mrs. Fachner's son Peter, so it was even more fun to read because of that connection.
marciadavis reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I am not a nonfiction kind of gal. The main reason I read is to be entertained. I did, however, enjoy this title. Melville was entertaining, informative, and realistic. I enjoyed myself, while learning something about energy. Traveling over 3,900 miles, Melville and his college buddy, visit the solar-powered Google headquarters (WOW); the National Ethanol Council; the wind turbines of MN; the National Renewable Energy Lab; an "eco-friendly" Wal-Mart (joke); and, the world's largest geothermal heating system (impressive and an Army facility no-less).
kblinn_2 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
This book will undoubtedly open some eyes since many people probably do not realize that a diesel engine can run on used (waste) vegetable oil from fast food restaurants. In the book, two guys named Greg and Iggy set out to drive their grease-powered Mercedes station wagon from Vermont to Berkley, CA. Along the way they take a few side trips and investigate other ways of saving the environment. The book is a quick, eye-opening read.
kinniska reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Not quite finished with this book, but have enjoyed it immensely. I like his choice to intersperse chapters of the journey with chapters on the results of his "errands" - sidebar questions raised by issues encountered along the way about energy and sustainability. More on this when I finish the book - but the first word is : Great!
mjmontagne reviewed this
Rated 4/5
An absolutely fantastic book recommended by the librarian that I work with at the school we both work at. Just a great story about a couple of thirty something guys who drive a bio-diesel converted Mercedes diesel from Vermont out to California. In addition to the hilarious stories from their excursion, the author also presents some compelling potential solutions for moving away from our heavy reliance on fossil fuels for our energy needs.A very quick read with a powerful message...I highly recommend Greasy Rider!
adrndack reviewed this
Rated 3/5
i really want to like this book more. i like travelogues and am a proponent of green technologies. i just had a hard time getting through Greasy Rider.i got distracted by the "errand" chapters and wish they could have been better integrated into the story. i did enjoy the relationship between greg and iggy and wish more time was spent on fleshing out the journey.overall, Greasy Rider was very informative, but i was hoping for a better read.
cmbohn reviewed this
Rated 4/5
This book was great! First of all, it was free, so that's always a bonus. But even if I had to pay for it, it would have been worth it.Greg Melville wants a new truck. His wife wants something greener. Way greener. So he decides to get an old Mercedes with a diesel engine and convert it to run on old cooking oil. Then he gets inspired to take a road trip, using nothing but free recycled oil in his car. He calls up his old buddy Iggy and the two hit the road.The title alone is a hint that this is bound to have some funny moments. The two friends get on each others nerves and kid each other like teenagers. The car breaks down with alarming regularity. Greg gets peed on by a dog. Stuff happens, and it's pretty funny stuff.I also enjoyed the 'errands' - side trips that Greg takes to discover what else is being done in the Green Movement to make life on earth a little more sustainable. I felt cheered to see that there are a lot of people dedicated to making a difference, and some of these ideas are practical and affordable.This was just a fun book and a good read. Way to go, Greg! Here's hoping that everyone who read this is inspired to make a few changes in their own lives.
julie2112_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I was looking forward to reading this book to learn more about the cool idea of a car that runs on used vegetable oil instead of gasoline. I was thrilled to find that it was also a funny well-written travelogue of a road trip between two old friends. Throw in an ongoing quest to answer many other questions about alternative energy sources and sustainability, along with some good old US history sprinkled in, and you've got yourself a great read. The notes at the end cite the author's sources and where you can hit the net to find out more. I was very impressed with Melville's work and the smell of french fries will never be the same again.
ahegge_2 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Greasy Rider details the true story of two friends who attempt to drive cross country in a car powered by used restaurant grease. The tone of this book was somewhere between a Bill Bryson travel book and a Michael Pollan research type book. Although Melville's writing style has not quite caught up with these two masters of the genre, it does come close at times. As someone who is pretty well-read and aware when it comes to all things "green", I did get a little bored in some parts of this book. Melville makes the choice to skim the surface of a variety of different alternative energy sources, rather than diving deeply into any one. I must admit that when I read the premise of the book, my first thought was: "Well, that's not a challenge at all. There are tons of restaurants everywhere who just throw out their grease . . . ". This book totally destroyed that misconception and taught me a lot about what is involved in maintaining such a vehicle. I also learned a lot from the section on different biofuels. Although far from being a can't put it down, page turner, this was an interesting and educational book and I'm curious to see what Melville comes out with in the future.

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