How Marc Henry’s work in the hospitality industry inspired him to decrease the carbon footprint of his diesel truck

By Heather Miller

With the flip of a switch, Lafayette’s Marc Henry can transform an older model pickup truck designed to run on conventional diesel fuel into a cleaner burning, gas-saving vehicle that emits carbon dioxide levels akin to a cornfield.  


How Marc Henry’s work in the hospitality industry inspired him to decrease the carbon footprint of his diesel truck

By Heather Miller

With the flip of a switch, Lafayette’s Marc Henry can transform an older model pickup truck designed to run on conventional diesel fuel into a cleaner burning, gas-saving vehicle that emits carbon dioxide levels akin to a cornfield.

Henry, an assistant manager at a CC’s Coffee House in Lafayette, has worked in restaurants for the past decade and always did notice “a lot of extra [vegetable] oil,” he says, but it wasn’t until Hurricane Rita washed ashore in 2006 that Henry started self-educating on the benefits of alternative fuels.

“When a bunch of the gas stations ran out of gas and we were all panicking, I thought, ‘This isn’t going to happen to me again. I’m going to be self-sufficient,’” he says. “Four or five years ago there were a lot of programs on TV about biodiesel and green energy. I tried to make biodiesel in my dad’s garage, had all the beakers and ethanol and everything, but ... then I got to straight vegetable oil.”

The end result for Henry is an additional tank in his 2003 GMC Sierra, a tank filled with waste vegetable oil that’s used along with traditional diesel fuel to get Henry around town.
The truck uses diesel fuel to start the engine, which in turn warms the extra tank of vegetable oil to its proper temperature. At this point, all that stands between Henry and his ultra-green fuel is a switch.

The cost savings of converting diesel vehicles to vegetable oil aren’t easy for Henry to calculate, as he admittedly doesn’t do much driving. The more miles the vehicle drives, the more money that’s saved in fuel.

“It all depends on how much you use your vehicle, but since I run it off of vegetable oil, the emissions are a lot less than diesel and gasoline,” he says. “And in the end I think I do save a little money.”

To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.

LA LA Land
Advertisement

Read the Flipping Paper!

Click Here for the Entire Print Version of
IND Monthly
Advertisement
Advertisement