August 2008

We’ve had a busy summer working to fully fund our 2010 Alternative Field Trip programs and launch the new Solar Waffle Works program. Yep, the name changed from Solar Transition Cafe to Solar Waffle Works. It just sounds better doesn’t it? The food cart is coming along and although it takes fooooooreeeeeveeer to get donations approved, if you’re tenacious like a pit-bull and willing to wait, it seems like they eventually come through. We’re finding that nothing moves quickly in the non-profit world. So far, we’ve had a tough time bringing in more  individual donations through the newsletter and the website, so we’ll be looking to explore alternative fundraising paths like special events.

I’m also excited to announce the latest addition to our board of directors. I met Sara Hope Smith in 2006 when we rode down to San Antonio, Texas in the BioTrekker to attend the National Biodiesel Conference and the Sustainable Biodiesel Summit, which Sara Hope organizes. She has a ton of creativity, an amazing amount of enthusiasm for renewable energy and a ton of technical know-how. She’s the one who convinced me to push ahead and get back on the road when we were experiencing our first mysterious biodiesel technical issues. Sara Hope is currently an Energy Analyst for the Oregon Department of Energy and the co-founder of the Biofuels Oasis in Berkeley, California. Thanks for coming aboard Sara Hope!

If you’re in Portland, look for the SolTrekker renewable energy RV at the Muddy Boot Festival in Southeast Portland on September 12-13. And then, starting in October, look for us at local schools! I’m really excited to distribute plans and materials for small solar generators in 2010. I think it’s an awesome way to get renewable energy systems to low income families and to show people that solar power is scale-able and can be built for under $400. C’mon, less than some flat screens out there!

Have a great summer’s end and autumn beginning.