Twelve years ago, not long after he graduated from college, environmental activist Josh Tickell set out on a tour of the country in a van powered by used cooking oil from fast-food restaurants. His goals were to spread the word that our cars—and lives—don’t need to depend on gas and oil, and to turn his activism into some kind of film.

The documentary that resulted, Fuel, is finally out and will be opening in Chicago this Friday at Piper’s Alley.