December 19, 2014

Environmental Lifesavers

Veggie Mechanic. Capt. John Puig, 39, is a sustainability specialist living in Naples. He grew up under the tutelage of his father, who raised him as a traditional mechanic, but Puig now converts cars to run off bio-fuel, helping reduce the release of greenhouse gases.

Grease monkey memories. Because of his upbringing, Puig didn’t like the idea of bio-fuel when he first encountered it on his friend’s farm. “As a traditional mechanic, that’s not something you would do. That’s breaking the rules,” he says. After two years of debating, Puig finally agreed bio-fuel was better, which led to his startup, Naples Bio-fuel Organization.

Call to convert. By using carbon-neutral fuels like vegetable oil, the net change of carbon gas is zeroed out. So instead of adding new carbon to the air, as cars that run on petroleum do, the veggie-burning cars release what was already present on the planet. “If you’re at all afraid of, believe in or [feel] anything about global warming and the link with carbon in the atmosphere by burning a carbon-neutral fuel, it removes that out of the equation.”

Saving grace. Adding a vegetable fuel system costs upwards of $2,000, but it can eventually prove practical for your pocket, too. The average gallon of veggie oil costs 5 cents.