Sep 172003
Authors: Daniel Hallford

On Sept. 11, an anniversary of infamy, people gathered in the Lincoln Center in downtown Fort Collins to hear about how they could change the world for the better.

“We The Planet,” sponsored by the Circle Of Life organization, is a nationwide activism tour, traveling in a bus powered by vegetable oil. The lobby of the Lincoln Center was filled with people drinking beers and sodas from cups made of cornstarch. I tried to recycle one, but was then told to throw it away because they decompose in less than a week.

The tour, led by author Julia Butterfly Hill, Actor Woody Harrelson, and Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde, is out there trying to get people to, “get real, get active,” Hill said.

“We The Planet” wants to make healthy earth-conscious choices more convenient and practical, from how you drive your car, to how you cook your food.

“Every choice you make effects the world,” Hill said.

Hill added that there are 125 million car trips made every day in America that could otherwise be made by walking or biking. “Take book bags to the supermarket…ride your bike,” Napolitano said.

Who would have thought that a car could be fueled entirely from vegetable oil? I was pleased to learn that for less than $1,000, I could modify my diesel engine to run off of pollutant free recycled vegetable oil and cooking grease.

“The options being presented are solutions, not alternatives,” Hill said, about the classification most environment friendly practices have fallen under.

Woody Harrelson, who became popular while on the TV Sitcom “Cheers,” is a proud supporter and advocate of the Bio Diesel movement.

D. Hallford: What was your first inspiration to get involved? Did you just wake up one morning and decide you were going to be for the earth?

W. Harrelson: Well, hopefully my first inspiration was always as a child, I’ve always been connected to animals and nature. Ted Danson really got me into the American ocean’s campaign.

D. Hallford: What do you think the future is? This is going to keep going, do you see it coming to a climax?

W. Harrelson: Well I imagine it will be as our thoughts go, so our thoughts will be our paintbrush for the future.

D. Hallford: Are we going to win against the big corporations who make it easy to use non-renewable resources?

W. Harrelson: It’s not like bad energy is outside the house. The enemy is not outside the house, the enemy is inside the house. You hardly heard about organic a few years ago, now organic is fairly common, it’s coming out, it’s mainstream. People are talking about BioFuel, people are talking about the alternatives. They are becoming mainstream.

D. Hallford: I like the idea of this being a solution not an alternative. What needs to happen at the grassroots level to reinforce that idea?

W. Harrelson: All I’m worried about is my mind. If I can get my mind right, that’s my only concern. I’ve got to live. Like Ghandi said one time, this mother came to him and said, “Can you help my son, he’s really addicted to sugar and it’s really affecting him badly and I’m trying to get him to stop.” And Ghandi goes, “Come back in a week.” Her son ended up quitting the major sugar, and she talks to Ghandi later, she says, “He quit, it’s amazing,” and asks, “Why did you want to take a week?” Ghandi replied, “I had to quit myself!” So I’m looking at all the areas in my life, and it’s not like I have the right to preach to other people about BioFuel while I’m still riding around in gasoline powered cars far too often. It’s not a revolution, it’s an evolution.

D. Hallford: We’re already there. We just need to realize what we need to do with it.

W. Harrelson: I think it’s a personal evolution that will bring about planetary evolution. So that’s what I’m focusing on for me.

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