Good Energy

The guys at Good Energy have been really supportive and excited about the expedition, so much so that they have made a contribution which allows me to keep the blog regularly updated during the expedition, so they and everyone else can follow the journey. Good Energy supplies 100% renewable electricity sourced from wind, water, sun and sustainable biomass. CO2 from coal-fired electricity generation is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Switch your electricity supply to Good Energy using this link and not only will you be supporting the pioneering community of independent green generators, but for every sign up they get they’ll make another donation to help get the bus around the world. It helps you cut your personal CO2 emissions, helps them grow a great business, and helps me get round the world.

Thursday, 16 July 2009


I'm a bit fused by the build. The process is classic organic itterative design; try it, realise it would be better another way and take it all apart again.

Only 14 days to go before the bus and I are evicted. It's been on a friends farmyard for far too long. And now that I am working on it full time the weather is slowing progress.

On good days I've been able to get lots done, especially with Esther helping. She;s back down here next weekend. We've got all the body work panels on apart from one which I left open so we could pass big stuff in and out of the vehicle (and another one where the window frame is now too small for the glass after welding the frame). Inside I've used the non-itch insulation to fill the cavity, and ply to board up the inside. I've been learning my way with some of the power tools, so some of my right angles are hit and miss.

Today I made a great discovery, with the silicon gun you can stop it spurting out excess after you finish by releasing the pressure on the spring. I'm sure anyone that's used a silicon gun knows this, but its so satisfying not to be wasting loads of silicon.

Today was a big milestone. The tank went into place. I've built the frame work for the bed above it which hinges up so I can access the tank for trouble shooting. I just hope it all stays screwed together. I've used parts from 3 different single beds to make a double. - all fished out of skips.

The now oversize window is being ground down, although this can make toughened glass shatter. Fingers crossed it works, and that it's then the right size.

I still have to put on the skirts, wheel arches, solar panels, fit kitchen area, composting toilet, plumb it, electrify it all, and get the engine running again.

Good news is that Wayne Bint, who owns a bus garage and previously worked for Mercedes for years has agreed to help get the bus through it's MOT, fit a particulate filter, and get be a spares basket of used parts. Brilliant.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Homefield School Genesis

I was invited as the guest of honour to Homefield Preparatory School in South London. What a great school, and some very smart kids. I was honoured to meet most of them as I presented prizes for sport and academic achievement.

While planning the talk, I developed a couple of ideas for involving the children from this, and hopefully many other schools in the project.

Firstly I’d like the children to help me with researching energy projects along the route. I’d like them to find schemes around the world where energy is being generated in a sustainable (or unsustainable) way that I can visit and document with video and images. Also I’d like to send me questions for me to find out about the energy being generated.

On a practical point, we’ll find a way of always having our immediate destination listed on the website as well as our current location to limit the geographical scope of their research. And I will produce some simple lesson plans for teachers to help them structure the research.

Then if I’m able to visit and find out the answers I’ll post the answers back to the site with video.

Secondly, I’d like kids to take the Biotruck Pledge, and tell me about their carbon saving. Again through the expedition site and external sites, kids (and adults) will be able to calculate their footprint saving and post it on the web.

At the end of the expedition we’ll total up the CO2 saving from all our followers.

Based on the response from Homefield School, where the idea was very warmly welcomed, I think this could be a really exciting aspect of the project.

The end of CAS

My involvement in the Catlin Arctic Survey has to come the end. After going in to advise about a webcasting system, I then became the Science Project Co-ordinator, and just before the end, because it’s all been such a success, I decided to give myself a promotion to the Science Project Director.

I got the opportunity to meet and learn from the worlds leading sea ice scientists.

I’ve now facilitated ongoing development of the data collected by the survey by Cambridge University, in collaboration with WWF, and after this Biotruck Expedition I hope to go back to the join the team.

I’ve never had the opportunity to work with such a bright, motivated and talented team as Simon, Chip, Dom, Becks, and Gaby, and I really want to go back to working with them when I return to the UK.

This blog is now on the website's holding page:

More developments of the site will be happening over the next 2 weeks.