We at Blue Ridge Biofuels have been working hard to create a better biodiesel experience for you. With the reinstatement of the federal tax credit this year, we have lowered our biodiesel prices even further and are putting in new equipment to make our production process more efficient.
2013 has been a great year for us so far. We have hired new staff, signed up more restaurant clients, and launched a new website chock full of features for you like pages for Biodiesel Classes and Internships. We are working with local students to get all the Asheville City School buses running on non-toxic biodiesel and we just won a Clear Air Excellence Award. You can visit our Facebook page via the handy-dandy link at the top right to keep up with alternative energy and sustainability initiatives in Asheville and around the world. And please let us know how we're doing – how we can be a better member of your community.
Thanks for supporting local, renewable energy!
♥ & Grease, Melita and all the folks at BRB
In This Issue:
Welcome New Staff Members
This year we hired an amazing new Operations Assistant Bryan DeCaterina. He comes to us from Richmond, VA and said working at Blue Ridge Biofuels making sustainable fuel is his "dream job." We are delighted to have him as part of our team. We also have two new Client Representatives hitting the streets of WNC, the Upstate, and Eastern TN signing up restaurants with the best oil collection service provider in town. And of course every new employee at BRB must score at least a 70 (that's a passing grade folks) on the Chip Positivity Equivalence Factor test. Jimmie "Chip" Wood is our #1 oil collection truck driver. He is by far and away the most positive person that has ever worked at BRB. Next time you see him out on the road or at your restaurant, give him a thumbs-up. He deserves it.
Curious about using biodiesel in your vehicle? Then check out the beautiful new informatinal kiosk up at the Gas-Up at 405 Haywood Rd. in West Asheville. The new poster was deigned by our Winter/Spring PR Intern Kimala Luna, who also designed our awesome new bumper stickers. You can pick up a sticker at one of our stations or by stopping by our office in the Phil Mechanic Studios during regular business hours. We'll have some at our booth at Earth Day this Saturday and the Big Love fest, too. For those waiting on high blends at our stations – we'll be going to B100 biodiesel at our pumps at the Gas-Up, Black Mountain Natural Foods, and Catamount Pump & Go in the next couple of weeks.
Other Items of Note
- This month Blue Ridge Biofuels was selected by the Western North Carolina Regional Air Quality Agency to receive a Clean Air Excellence Award for our efforts to protect and improve air quality in our area. We are honored to be recognized.
- With the reinstatement of the federal biodiesel tax credit, biodiesel is cheaper than ever! Call today for price quotes on fuel for your fleet, farm, construction company, or home. 828-253-1034.
- Thanks to Bowman Kelley at Webstamatic for our beautiful new website and lovely newsletter template. Thanks to MyNewsletterBuilder for making it happen (and giving a discount to Living Wage Certified employers like us, to boot).
- The F3 project is rolling along.The non-GMO canola planted at the Biltmore Estate is growing bigger everyday. Biltmore plans on harvesting the seed and we will press it into oil later this summer. Keep an eye out for updates and locally-produced cooking oils soon.
- We just finished installing new methoxide mixers at our production facility – this tank system creates the alcohol/catalyst mixture that drives the biodiesel reaction. They're bigger, badder, and safer for our staff. If you'd like to come visit our plant and take a tour and see them for yourself, visit the Tours & Events & Sponsorship page of our website and fill out a request form.
BioKIDS – Kids & Independent Restaurants Drive Sustainability
Blue Ridge Biofuels is working with students from Asheville High School and members of the Asheville Independent Restaurant association (AIR) to get the Asheville City School buses running on B20 biodiesel by the fall of 2013. Noxious diesel fumes from school buses adversely affect the health and well-being of our youth. Switching to clean-burning biodiesel improves air quality, reduces instances of asthma, and provides a cost savings to school systems. You can check out the dozens of school systems across our country are running on biodiesel today on the National Biodiesel Board’s website.
BRB staff Kymber Owens and Woody Eaton mentored three students – Olivia, Sam, and Sanjay – from the SILSA program at Asheville High School. They won 2nd place in the Ideas That Move Youth Challenge, which promotes innovations that positively impact our schools and community. You can watch a video of our students' presentation on the videos page of our website (it's the 2nd from the top). Alan Johnson, superintendent of Asheville City Schools, was one of the judges. First place went to a composting initiative for Asheville High School in collaboration with our buddies at Danny's Dumpster.
Sanjay is the son of Anoop Krishnan, the owner of Mela, a fabulous Asheville restaurant. Inspired by his son, Anoop recruited other members of AIR to work with Blue Ridge Biofuels to create BioKIDS: Kids and Independent Restaurants Drive Sustinabaility.
Blue Ridge Biofuels pays its restaurant clients for their used cooking oil. Members of AIR can now pledge to contribute a portion of their used cooking oil for free to BRB. We will then directly pass that savings to Asheville City Schools via a credit on future fuel bills. If you are an AIR restaurant interested in supporting the health of our city's children, please contact Kymber Owens at email@example.com.
We could not be any more proud of our students and their dedication to moving this project forward. Our next step is to meet with the transportation directors of both the Asheville City and Buncombe County School Boards next week. We are honored to be considered for a partnership with Asheville City Schools and know that this community initiative to get our buses running on biodiesel and directly improve the health and well being of our children will be a success. If you would like to pledge your support, please sign the petition at our booth this Saturday at Earth Day in Downtown Asheville on Lexington Ave.
West Asheville Altamont Brewery is a neighborhood bar at the Patton Ave. end of Haywood Rd. They have been instrumental in revitalizing this stretch of West Asheville since opening in 2011. The bar welcomes people from all walks of life. Their beer is great, the owners and staff are super nice, and they are working to make a real difference in their community: they heat their building on 100% biodiesel in the winter, each month they select a non-profit for their Community Pint program, and they are working on installing solar panels on the brewery roof. If you've never been, go check it out. Find owners Ben Wiggins and Gordon Kear and sit for a beer or two. You won't regret it.
Spotlight on HomeGrown – Asheville, NC
HomeGrown is a local eatery, serving local food, cooked by local people with love included. They are all about making local food affordable and convenient so that everyone can enjoy access to delicious healthy meals that support community farmers. Alisha Goodman, Client Services Manager at Blue Ridge Biofuels, strongly recommends the Local Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich, fried of course. Check out their menu and please thank them for their contribution to local biodiesel!
Welcome New Clients
Please visit these recently opened restaurants that decided to start off on the right foot by recycling their used cooking oil with Blue Ridge Biofuels for biodiesel production. For that we offer thanks!
Crown and Cork
37 South Main Street
Mars Hill NC 28754
The Local Taco
15 Conestee Avenue
Greenville SC 29605
2 Guys Pizza and Ribs
121 West Barnwell Street
Hendersonville NC 28792
In an effort to ensure we are meeting all of our oil collection clients’ needs we would like to invite our restaurant and kitchen clients to participate in our first client survey. Your used cooking oil is helping grow our local fuel economy and we want to keep it that way! We are also currently seeking ways to provide our restaurant clients with a local source of new cooking oil that would support local farm jobs. Eligible participants (you must be one of our current oil collection clients) will be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card on June 30, 2013. Visit our website to Take the Survey.
Green Opportunities is a community-based development organization dedicated to improving lives, communities, and the health of the planet through innovative green collar job training and placement programs. They are committed to empowering low-income neighborhoods in Asheville by preparing residents for well-paying jobs, completing hands-on projects that make these neighborhoods safer and more environmentally sustainable, and linking the residents of these neighborhoods to jobs and other community resources that lead to greater empowerment. Blue Ridge Biofuels has been a long-time supporter of GO by employing their members and donating to their annual fund. Visit their website to see how you can get involved with this great organization! We need YOU to make our community stronger.
Ujamaa Freedom Market
We first met Olufemi Lewis and Itiyopiya Ewart back in 2011 when we started the Cooking Oil Recycling Program of WNC. Olufemi came to us from Green Opportunities and was our outreach coordinator for the pilot year. Iti designed all the great marketing materials and logo for the program. These two amazing women work on the community garden at Hillcrest Apartments where they live. They and other entrepreneurs/activists are creating the Ujamaa Freedom Mobile Market, a worker-owned mobile food truck that will bring fresh, healthy foods to neighborhoods across Buncombe County (and run on biodiesel of course). The Mountain Xpress has written a great article about their efforts in sustainability and food security. Stay tuned for what this amazing group of people will accomplish. We know they will accomplish great things…
Asheville Earth Day – Sat. April 20
Join us this Saturday for the 5th annual Earth Day Celebration! We have some awesome new bumper stickers and Fuel Local stickers for all our supporters. Local artist Hannah Dansie produced some adorable anti-fossil fuel buttons we ordered through her Etsy shop. Stop by and check out our booth! We'd love to talk to you about biodiesel and sustainability in Asheville.
Sat. April 20
12 noon – 10pm
Lexington Ave. in Downtown Asheville
Kids Sing a Song of Biodiesel – Mon. April 22
In celebration of Earth Day, students from teacher Stacy Montana's chorus class at Vance Elementary will be visiting the Blue Ridge Biofuels production plant in the Phil Mechanic Studios this Monday. They will gather in the Pump Gallery to sing us their song about biodiesel! Refreshments provided. Please join us – we couldn't be more excited.
Mon. April 22
Pump Gallery at Phil Mechanic Studios – 109 Roberts St. Asheville, NC 28801
Hard to Recycle – Sat. April 27
Come visit us for the next Hard to Recycle event hosted by Asheville GreenWorks. From kiddie pools to used cooking oil, a wide variety of hard to recycle items will be collected at this free event for the public. Visit Asheville GreenWorks for more information.
Sat. April 27
8am to 1pm
161 S Charlotte St. Asheville NC 28801
We have also joined the Asheville GreenWorks Member Discount Card.
Remember you can always recycle your used cooking
oil at one of our many public recycling bins across
Western North Carolina.
Visit the Cooking Oil Recycling Program website for more info.
Big Love Fest – Sat. May 5
Join us at the 3rd annual Big Love Fest – a celebration of unchained and independent Asheville! We've got great new stickers designed for us by Franzi Charen at Asheville Grown Business Alliance and printed for us by On a Roll on Lexington Ave.
Sat. May 5
12 noon to 8pm
Pack Square, Downtown Asheville
LOVE ASHEVILLE – FUEL LOCAL!
Just Brew It Festival – Sat. May 25
Blue Ridge Biofuels is proud to be a Living Wage Certified employer. We're also proud to sponsor Just Brew It – the only homebrew and tasting festival in Asheville! The event benefits the economic justice work of Just Economics.
Sat. May 25
2pm to 5pm
Wedge Brewery in the River Arts District of Asheville
Visit the Just Economics website to purchase tickets. No tickets will be sold at the door. Beer and equality!
Running Green Class at AB Tech – Thurs. June 27
Running Green: Switching Your Business to Biofuels at AB Tech
Gain a marketing advantage while greening your business! Making the switch to using biofuels is easier than you may think. In fact, your current business vehicle(s) and heating systems may already support biofuels, and it may simply be a matter of knowing where to find them. This course will demystify the use of biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, with a specific focus on biodiesel, which is locally available in western North Carolina. The course will cover everything from basic chemistry and production methods, to what you need to know to simply use the fuel. Fleet managers are especially encouraged to attend.
Instructor: Matthew Rudolf
Thurs. June 27
6pm to 9pm
2046 Small Business Center, Enka
Course number: SBC-3104-100EN
Additional classes on biodiesel and alternative energy are posted on the new Biodiesel Classes Page of our website.
Any farm ordering between now and April 31 will receive 10 cents off per gallon and free delivery!
Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine without modifications. It's better for your farm, your equipment, and your community.
Local Food & Local Fuel! ♥ 828-253-1034 ext. 2.