Greenwave Biodiesel’s Jon Solin and Eric Lesperance
We’re taking an environmental menace and turning it into a longterm sustainable solution,” says Eric Lesperance, cofounder of Greenwave Biodiesel. The nemesis Lesperance is referring to takes the form of ordinary vegetable cooking oil and animal fats, which most often are thrown down the drain or in a landfill and yet are in fact a valuable source of fuel. He and co-founding partners Jon Solin and Shawn Sabharwal have joined together to launch a company dedicated to eliminating our dependence on foreign oil and changing our wasteful ways.
These ambitious 20-somethings have entered the biodiesel industry with a well-researched and -organized game plan, and have done so in a very lucrative market. “Florida is the third-largest user of diesel fuel in the country. We consumed 1.7 billion gallons last year,” Solin explains. In other words, the opportunity to provide a clean-burning alternative to diesel is huge. While industrial businesses are obvious beneficiaries of Greenwave’s renewable approach, the company is looking to keep its product accessible to everyone. “Anyone who has a generator or a boat can use our fuel,” Lesperance says.
Miami and Fort Lauderdale, where their facility is based, also present a wealth of opportunities for the collection of vegetable oils and animal by-products that can be converted into biodiesel. “We are procuring our resources through companies that are already supplying the restaurants,” says Solin. “We’re also asking them if we can give them marketing materials to display, which show that they’re recycling vegetable oil to create biodiesel,” Lesperance adds. Soon consumers will be seeing Greenwave Biodiesel stickers on restaurants, the same way recycling messages appear on everything from e-mails to magazines.
The environmental trio is even offering free recycling services for individual households, complete with containers for storage and drivers to collect them, as well as free waste cooking oil for restaurants in the tricounty region. It’s clear that these young visionaries are unwavering in their commitment to save both us and the planet.