In October 2008 The Ragbirds replaced their aging tour van with a Ford E-350 diesel van, and thanks to their friends at Full Circle Fuels in Oberlin OH ( converted it to run on Waste Vegetable Oil. (the kind of oil your last order of french fries was cooked in) Rudolph Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine, originally intended his engine to run on peanut oil, and thanks to a minor modification to the fuel system of “Cecelia” (we named our van after the Patron Saint of Music) and the addition of some extra heated fuel tanks and filters we are able to run our tour van on used vegetable oil straight from restaurant dumpsters. As touring musicians, we must travel constantly to get our music heard beyond the borders of our hometown, and running on waste vegetable oil allows us to travel without dependence on foreign oil and all of it’s related environmental, economic and political problems. We are also able to drastically reduce our carbon footprint and emissions by burning a domestically produced, renewable bio-fuel. We care deeply about the impact that all of our driving has on the environment and believe that we can all contribute to a cleaner, greener future.

Filling Up On Grease

Randall goes through the process of filling up on grease to power our waste vegetable oil powered van while on tour in the Midwest. It’s not as simple as pulling up to the pump, but it’s something we have down to a science and has become a big part of our success!

Eco-Touring Workshops

In 2008 The Ragbirds converted their diesel tour van to run on waste vegetable oil.  In the three years since then, they have become advocates and experts on using alternative fuels such as vegetable oil and bio-diesel to contribute to a carbon free and domestically produced solution to fossil fuel dependability and its related environmental and political consequences.  In this workshop the band will discuss all the details of traveling on waste vegetable oil, including:

1.   Practical details of gathering used oil from restaurants.

2.  Cleaning and filtering.

3.  How the system works

4.  The technical details of custom conversion systems in laymans terms.

5.  The Pros and cons of common alternative fuels.

6.  The benefits of WVO travel.

The last section of the workshop will be opened up to the participants for Q & A and discussion.

Suitable for all ages :: Workshop length:  one hour :: Ideal for festivals and high school and colleges

*Green touring workshops are also available as a mix of workshop and acoustic Ragbirds performance



“The Ragbirds offer a rare treat to their audiences through their Green Touring Workshops.  They provide a truly intimate experience to their audience related to their tribulation of running bio-fuels and the green themed decision that goes into everything from bottled water to veggie burgers.  The workshop is one part storytells, one part education, and two parts Ragbirds music – providing a unique and cosmic blend of entertainment.”

–  James Gooch, Summer Camp Music Festival