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The Green Life: In a Biofueled Bus Called "Self Express," Six Young People Set Out

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June 22, 2011

In a Biofueled Bus Called "Self Express," Six Young People Set Out

Biodiesel If you’re in college, chances are you’re worried about what to do after graduation. It’s a tough job market and a tough real world.

But you can get proactive with your journey to adulthood. Some kids in Oregon, for example, are channeling their wayward freedom into driving a biodiesel-fueled bus across America to promote sustainable ideas. The Self Express, as they’ve dubbed it, left McMinville, Oregon, two days ago. It’s heading to Salt Lake City for jailed environmental activist Tim DeChristopher’s sentencing. After that, it embarks on a cross-country tour, hitting up eco-events from California to Connecticut that promote carbon-neutral, community-oriented living. They'll record their journey via blog and video, uploading as they go.

The group bought the bus in Portland in May. Since then, they’ve gutted its engine and interior, replaced its floor with bamboo, and painted it inside and out. For now, the bus’s exterior is plain-looking, a blank slate, and its interior a simple landscape scene. People across the country will help paint the Self Express along its journey, until it's a massive mural inside and out.

As for fuel and supplies, they plan to ask restaurants to donate waste oil. Several Oregon eateries are already lined up to do so, but the bus will need support all over the country, lest they resort to less savory tactics. The Self Express is a work in progress, so its keepers are keeping a wish list of things it's missing, like rear-view mirrors. Donations are welcome.

--Mimi Dwyer

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