The Joy of Shunning Gas Stations

John Schaeffer by John Schaeffer | February 19th, 2008 | 5 Comments
topic: Green Living

Every time I pass a gas station I count my blessings. Since I’ve had my own biodiesel tank at my house for the last two years, I’ve almost never had to endure the dubious honor of queuing up in line to fill up my car with fossil fuels shipped from politically unstable countries in the Middle East knowing full well that oil is a rapidly diminishing resource. It’s a unique joy that most biodiesel users tend to take for granted.

And I have the further satisfaction of knowing that my biodiesel doesn’t come from virgin genetically modified soy but instead is wholly recycled from vegetable fryer waste oil from my own Mendocino County. Plus it costs less than most gasoline or ‘dino-diesel’ fuel at the gas pump because I buy a large quantity when it’s at a low price, locking in those prices for a long time.

Did you know that you can run B-100 (100% biodiesel) in your VW Jetta, Mercedes, old Ford truck, or tractor without doing any conversions whatsoever?

Now biodiesel may not be the panacea for the future of fuels as we need land to support our food supplies, but it sure is a great transition fuel for those of us who are sick of using gasoline and supporting the decaying oil infrastructure. Next time you buy a vehicle, consider a diesel powered vehicle, and next time you fill up at a gas station, think about how how simple biodiesel could be!

For the Earth,

John Schaeffer


  1. I also love shunning gas stations as I ride by……on my bike :)

    Joe Rogel | February 20th, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  2. Since we use little or no cooking oil, and the commercial biodiesal is not an option in our area, we drive sensible reasonably conventional cars, kept in tune, with properly inflated tires. We do not drive SUVs that add 2,000 pounds or more to every trip, and can double the amount of fuel needed to get from point A to point B.

    Our approach to conservation of fuel is enhanced by use of a simple shopping list for food and other essentials is kept in our kitchen so that whe can do our shopping in a weekly one trip sweep in one day. Our drugstore, market , and dry cleaners are located in the same strip mall. If we need to get something at a store or have a doctor’s visit in the other direction we plot out our stops for various errands in the same vicinity on the same day. This practice coupled with buying the smallest most fuel efficient car that meets your family needs can reduce your fuel consumption costs enough to pay for home and car insurance as we have done. Hybrids are nice, but these are things you can do right now, with or wihtout a hybrid!

    I’m jealous of the guy who can get by with a bike and have asked my township to make it possible to ride bikes to the library and schools again. We can all save fuels in these ways while we work to improve our communities by making them bike and pedestrian friendly again.

    The bottom line is fewer trips using vehicles that are lighter and consume less fuel will save time, money, and improve air and water quality.

    Grace Solts | April 26th, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  3. My husband and I both decided to work at home, and my gas tank is still on half full from the week before Hurricane Gustav! I just refuse to drive anymore unless it’s must must must do. I can walk to stores close by, and my husband uses our Honda that gets 35+ to the gallon. But, I want to make the leap to being completely “off-grid” and every day is both a challenge and a blessing as I get closer. It is a cultural process and every step counts. Thanks, John, for your pioneering work. I will follow.

    Jo Afton | October 15th, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  4. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

    sandrar | September 10th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  5. Hi John,

    I’ve been driving on B-100 for abut 6 years, I’m a real fan of the SLI mission.
    I have a proposal for you which could greatly further the Solar Living Institute mission – but I don’t have your e-mail address, and have not been able to contact you through the SLI or Real Goods.

    Could you send me your e-mail, so that I can communicate my proposal? Thanks!


    Alex Brendel | October 23rd, 2009 | Comment Permalink

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