Long before “green” was in, Rev. Brad Close had a passion for being a good steward of God’s earth. So it was only a natural development for him to eventually own a 1985 Mercedes Benz 300SD that runs either on diesel or on waste vegetable oil (WVO).
Close is the Christian Reformed campus chaplain at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. WVO as a source of fuel is less harmful to people, animals, and the environment. Carbon dioxide emissions are greatly reduced, producing vegetable oil is more energy efficient than producing other fuels, and using waste oil makes environmental sense.
When asked what the challenges of driving a WVO vehicle are, Close simply says, “It takes a lot of time energy, and work.” He bought a diesel conversion kit and found a good mechanic to install the dual system. He has not been able to find any other WVO vehicle owners in the city, so he personally collects waste oil from local pubs and restaurants, then takes it home to reheat and triple filter it. Canadian winters require that the car runs for half an hour on diesel before the WVO is warm enough.
In addition to the positive environmental impact of driving a vehicle with WVO, Close says that his search for used vegetable oil has become a “cool community building activity.”