The irony was obvious. I was stopping for petrol at the Esso station in Hope BC as I glanced over to the parking area and saw a young couple self-fueling their Toyota Delica with a hose leading from a trailer fill of waste vegetable oil. I soon learned Tyson Jerry and Cloe Whittaker were on a journey called Drive to Sustain – breaking a world record for sustainable vehicle travel. (38,137 km, by Rainer Zietlow, Florian Hilpert, Falk Gunold, Franz Janusiewicz, all Germany, with a Volkswagen Caddy EcoFuel using natural gas – October 2006)
Coordinating their trip with fast-food franchises for fuel (New York Fries was mentioned as a mainline supplier) they have now broken that record and are driving to reach 45,000km. When I returned home, I looked them up on their website, driventosustain.ca. Turns out they are well into their trip, having criss-crossed the continent, from New York to LA to Edmonton to New Mexico. They broke the record in New York, to the cheers of some school kids they were visiting. Congratulations!
It looks like a great time. I am completely jealous of this eco road trip, and impressed with Tyson and Cloe’s drive.
Of course I can’t resist offering just a few ideas. Not that they even need them, having traveled somewhere over 38.000km quite successfully. But if anyone wants to challenge their record, or take a trip like this to the next level, here are a few Green Briefs Marketing Thoughts:
Brand the Vehicle: According to their home page, “The van (is) nicknamed “The Green Machine” by some and “Veggie Mobile / Veggie Van” by others…” Creating a consistent brand (better yet, a media spectacle) out of the van itself would have made it easier to get more traction with the media. (How about “The Fry Baby” or “Frier Truck”? The “VeggiePod “? )
Bring in Sponsors: Tyson mentioned that New York Fries offered them a lot of support… why not feature the restaurants who contributed fuel? There’s a big white trailer just looking for some more graphics. What about talking to Whole Foods to fuel the people?
Put some more facts on your card: I can understand wanting to minimize waste in handout form, but a few more stats on the trip would have made it easier to get my head around the idea.
Add intro and closing graphics to the YouTube videos – Make them more of a series with a little simple production. Maybe note the approximate mileage at which the video occurred.
Looks like almost enough fun to try it myself…!
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