Smart Growth for Vernon, CT

By Deb Wilson
August 2, 2006

In the Spring of 2005, I wrote an article on alternative fuel energy sources for cards and ended it with "'GREASE' is the word." Over a year later, July 23, 2006, NY Times reporter Jim Norman writes an article in the Automobile section entitled, "Grease Is The Word: Fill It Up With Fry Oil." Our objective being equal: educate the consumer abut an alternative fuel to gasoline and diesel. Jim owns a 2001 VW Jetta TDI and had it converted at the Easthampton, Mass. facility, by installer Daryl Beck. He purchased his conversion kit manufactured by Greasecar, founded by Justin Carven, at the same mill complex. Costs for both the kit and the conversion totaled under $2,000. This seems affordable for many potential costumers.

Daryl Beck, has now moved to a larger facility to meet the increasing demands of installations. His new garage is located in Greenfield, Mass. Justin Carven and his company, Greasecar, remain at the Easthampton location. Justin is currently working on the process of qualifying his conversion kit for E.P.A. certification.

While the reporter, Jim Norman, proclaims the many benefits of using veggie oil, he humorously mentions those rare cases of "big bear" attacks on veggie storage containers. The article runs through the nuts and bolts of daily usage, storage of oil, and potential supply sources--restaurants. Can you smell the French fries and fried tofu?

Questions arise as to fuel efficiency and potential damage to the engine. At this point, there are no reports of damage. My car friends tell me that the newly mandated low sulfur diesel fuel does not provide enough lubrication for the engines and many people use an additive. However, the use of veggie oil does provide enough lubrication.

If you are interested in reading the NY Times article and the companion article, please visit and search for "GREEN TECH; Restaurant Problem Becomes a Solution" and "Grease Is the Word: Fill It Up With Fry Oil". There is a fee to view the articles. Both articles were written by Jim Norman and published on July 23, 2006

In Jim Norman's companion article, a New Yorker, David Selig, who owns 5 restaurants in the Manhattan area, tackles his fuel problems by using the vegetable waste oil his own restaurants produce. His Dodge Sprinter diesel van has a modified Greasecar conversion kit in it. As his kitchens fry up rice balls, lotus-root chips, and vegetarian meatballs, about 70 gallons of waste oil are available each week. Two problems solved: free fuel for the van and free waste oil disposal.

Let's move up to the Maine coast where restaurant manager, Tim Bryant, donates his waste oil to a neighbor in Penobscot who runs his 2006 VW Jetta diesel which displays large advertisements for Bryant's restaurant! Lastly, we meet an owner of a 1991 Mercedes-Benz which is converted to a veggie fuel system, Baruch Ben-Yehudah. His restaurant in Capitol Heights, MD., features fried tofu, potato and vegetable patties. So enamored of the idea of saving the environment, Baruch started a company,, that installs conversion kits for others. Whether it be New York City, the Maine coast or Maryland, people are converting their diesel vehicles to grease car systems for many reasons be it monetary or environmental. Indeed, "GREASE" is the word.

For further information on Veggie Car conversions for diesel cars,vans,and trucks, please visit:,,,,,