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Northern Grease follows Tamo Campos, John Muirhead, Lewis Muirhead, Jasper Snow Rosen, Landon Yerex and Hannah Campbell as they travel in a vegetable oil fueled bus throughout British Columbia and Alberta.
The gang, on a mission to understand Canadian resource extraction projects, visit industrial towns, interview the people involved with and affected by resource extraction, and learn about some of the problems presented by practices like fracking and the Tar Sands.
They find a complex landscape, against which environmental stewardship is threatened by misinformation and biased marketing. Along the way, the boys spend time with the people who, using alternative and renewable energy sources, lead lifestyles that present solutions. All in all, Northern Grease tells a story of awareness, criticism, and forward thinking, against a backdrop of our country’s beautiful wilderness and fascinating people.
After coming home from the 'Belen' project in South America, the crew realized how climate change is already affecting impoverished countries, and how Canada plays a large role in fossil fuel extraction, further fueling the climate issue. With numerous pipeline proposals in BC/Alberta, we knew it was time for an awareness film about our own backyard. We spent a few months, and most of our money on what would be our new home for the next year on the road. Mastermind Lewis Muirhead installed the Plant Drive kit so we could run on used veggie oil from restaurants along the way.
We spent the first month on Vancouver island, chasing waves and searching for snowy peaks. It wasn't long before we found ourselves in Port Hardy with a dead transmission. The following 2 weeks were spent camped in the junkyard, dropping trannies and getting yelled at by the Yugoslavian lot owner (who also lived there). To stay somewhat sane we managed to get out to the beach and on some slopes a few times. This ordeal almost had us heading back to Vancouver scratching our heads at what to do next. Luckily we met Jim, the transmission mechanic who did a re-build and had us on the road after 3 tries pulling the transmission out and in.
After some good island times, it was time to get the real journey started - North. Budgets disallowed for the inside passage ferry to be an option, so highway drivin' it was. Back to the mainland and up through Whistler, couple veggie stops, and made our way to Smithers, BC. Here we met up with some inspirational people utilizing alternative energy to power their homes and businesses. One farmer we met was using wood gasification to create electricity, powering his whole house on one bucket of chips a day. And the outdoor shop Dawn 2 Dusk was the first snowboard shop to run on solar power.