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October 2004

Veggie Fueled Tour Brings Environmental Education to Communities

Lander, WY— Fueled by french fries, the NOLS on the Road: Finding Tomorrow’s Leaders bus tour has begun traveling the country providing an active, environmentally conscious way to learn about the outdoors and celebrate leadership. The non-profit National Outdoor Leadership School’s bus, fueled by used vegetable oil and solar power, is bringing the school’s educational program of outdoor skills, leadership and environmental awareness to communities across the nation.

Sponsored by Silk™, the makers of organic soymilk, the NOLS bus runs on used vegetable oil, a cleaner, renewable alternative to petroleum. The specially converted engine will be filled up at restaurants and dining halls where used vegetable oil is available. Other alternative energy features on board include solar panels that power audio/visual equipment, lights and computers.

“For several years NOLS has pursued the idea of introducing our educational program to people where they live, but driving a gas guzzler around the country ran counter to our educational mission and values,” says Bruce Palmer, NOLS marketing director. “Then some of our college-age graduates introduced us to veggie fuel. Now we can put our show on the road and live our values.”

As part of this wilderness education program on wheels, NOLS will showcase young leaders by awarding 15 full-tuition Finding Tomorrow’s Leaders Scholarships. Applicants must be between the ages of 14 and 22 and demonstrate strong leadership potential. Scholarship hopefuls will fill out their applications at the bus, which will stop at college and high school campuses, outdoor retailers and vendors of Silk‘ nationwide during the year-long tour. The scholarships are sponsored by Spenco Medical Products.

Evenings will feature the bus’ solar-powered outdoor theatre showing the NOLS movie “The Expedition,” NOLS alumni expedition slide shows and sneak previews of the NOLS TV series. High-quality outdoor gear will also be raffled on college campuses.

The project’s environmental components were what attracted the attention of Silk™. “This project is a key component of our strategy to introduce young people to our product,” says Silk™ CEO Steve Demos. “As a socially responsible company, having Silk™ delivered on college campuses by a bus running on used vegetable oil and solar power seems perfect.”

Photos, video footage and more information about NOLS on the Road: Finding Tomorrow’s Leaders bus tour is available online at www.nols.edu/bus.

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