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Vegetable oil-powered bus slides into Kalamazoo

Jan. 4, 2006

KALAMAZOO--As the nation's gasoline and diesel fuel prices remain at near-record highs, the non-profit National Outdoor Leadership School has found a better way to get around. The school has a 36-foot bus fueled by used cooking oil and other ingredients traveling the country, providing an active, environmentally conscious way to learn about the outdoors.

The NOLS bus will visit Western Michigan University Thursday, Jan. 12, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Parking Lot 89, located in Goldsworth Valley next to the intramural soccer fields.

The bus runs on RVO--recycled vegetable oil--a cleaner, renewable alternative to petroleum. Since September 2004, the bus has traveled more than 30,000 miles on RVO during its journey across the country. According to NOLS officials, this has saved 2,000 gallons of petroleum, eliminated sulfur dioxide emissions and significantly reduced the release of other greenhouse gasses and particulates.

Specially adapted to operate on RVO fuel, the vehicle is also equipped with solar panels that power its audio-visual equipment, lights and computers. Other features of the unique vehicle include a climbing wall on one side of the bus.

The National Outdoor Leadership School is a private, non-profit institution, which operates wilderness expeditions on four continents and has more than 75,000 alumni. Visit www.nols.edu for more information about the school and the NOLS bus.

For more information about the NOLS bus visit to Kalamazoo, contact Dr. Linda Law, in the WMU Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, at linda.law@wmich.edu or (269) 387-2687.

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Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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