This column is the first in a series of profiles of people who their part to live more sustainable in Tampa Bay.
Dave Starman lives a simple life. He resides on a sailboat in the harbor off Davis Island. He is just finishing his Master's Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of South Florida, and drives to school everyday from South Tampa in his 1985 Mercedes Benz 300D diesel that he has converted to straight vegetable oil that he collects from restaurant waste fryers and filters.
The car is modified to heat the oil to a temperature which brings its viscocity similar to that of petroluem diesel fuel and the diesel engine just burns it.
On his sailboat, Dave limits his daily living power consumption to what can be collected from one 130 Watt solar panel. He lives on a 12V DC system primarily with lights, stereo, water pump, and other marine navigational equipment.