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On the Road with the Format, the Eco-Friendly Way

Oh hello, my name is Marko and I am the guitarist for the Format. My contribution to this blog is in regards to how this particular tour is operated. What tour, you ask?

We are currently on the road with Guster promoting the Campus Consciousness Tour, a traveling performance forum that was created by [Guster guitarist] Adam Gardner and his wife Lauren Sullivan, who also run the non-profit environmental organization Reverb. The purpose of this tour is to educate and motivate students and their communities on ways we can relieve our ailing planet. So far it has been a very eye-opening experience — for me at least. Here’s a bit of a breakdown:

Our main mode of transport on this earthly expedition is our tour bus. There are three total buses on this tour and one truck, and they all run on sweet, sweet biodiesel. Biodiesel, huh? Isn’t that what Piebald used in their tour van? No. Biodiesel is the name of a clean burning alternative fuel, produced from domestic, renewable resources (such as corn or soybeans). Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel blend. It can be used in compression-ignition (diesel) engines with little or no modifications! (Not being an apt mechanic, I like the sound of that!). Biodiesel is simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics. Basically, pretty much any modern diesel-fueled vehicle can run on biodiesel.

Many farmers are growing crops specifically for alternative fuel use as it decreases our dependence on foreign oil and contributes to our own economy. Piebald uses a waste vegetable oil (WVO) conversion to power their van. WVO is commonly associated with oil that is found in the grease traps of restaurants. Check out to find out how to convert your old diesel engine into a grease lovin’ machine.

To combat generating waste, this tour has set up recycling bins everywhere on college campuses and show venues. We even have a daily collection on our bus. We’ve also switched to using biodegradable cups, bowls, and utensils. Our bowls and dishes are made of sugar cane. Forks, knives, and spoons are made out of potato starch and our cups are made from corn! I had no idea, but it makes sense. After all, it is the future.

There will be plenty more topics and discussions regarding our eco-excursion in the following weeks. Make sure to check back every Thursday for something helpful, insightful, and, above all, green.


>> Read frontman Nate Ruess’ first entry in the Format tour blog

On the Web:
Campus Consciousness Tour website

Now Watch This: The Format – “She Doesn’t Get It”