As 2015 begins, many reflect on the past year and come up with resolutions for the year ahead. While most people think of a resolution as an intention to do something, resolution can also be defined as an answer or a solution to a problem. Biodiesel represents a solution to many issues facing our communities and our planet, such as domestic energy security, climate change, and limited fossil fuel resources.
Despite hurdles and challenges in 2014, the biodiesel industry perseveres. Consumers continue to demand the product, existing producers continue to thrive and new community-scale biodiesel production facilities continue to be built. Communities across the country are seeing the environmental, social and economic benefits of community-scale biodiesel as more consumers, companies and fleets move toward local biodiesel and biodiesel blends from traditional ULSD. But there is more work to be done…
As individuals and communities we can choose to support local biodiesel producers and the companies that use their product. From the fuel we put in our vehicles to the dollars we spend, we can show our support for community-based, sustainable biodiesel.
The following are some ways you can resolve to support biodiesel use and be an even bigger part of a renewable energy solution in 2015.
2015 BIODIESEL RESOLUTIONS
Tell state and federal representatives biodiesel is important to you – Use your voice and your vote to tell your representatives that biodiesel matters to you and your community. Federal legislation like the Biodiesel Producers Tax Credit is crucial to the survival of local biodiesel. The one thing that matters to every politician is VOTES let your representatives know your vote depends on support for community-based clean energy!
Consider renewable options from your local electric provider – When you purchase electric power for your home or business consider renewable options or biodiesel-based power generation when available. Companies like Hawaii’s Pacific Biodiesel provide locally made sustainable biodiesel to power generators that provide power to the community.
Switch to Bioheat blends or B100 in your home or work place furnace – Contact your local biodiesel provider for ASTM certified B20 Bioheat oil as an alternative to traditional heat oil for your furnace or ask about affordable furnace conversion kits for B100 use.
Encourage biodiesel in your community school busses – Nationwide, school busses travel 4 billion miles a year, transporting over 25 million students Biodiesel burns cleaner and provides improved air quality for student passengers and the environment alike and has a proven record of success in school fleets.
- The Deer Valley School District in Phoenix, AZ has been running their fleet of (380+ vehicles) on biodiesel since 1997.
- Green Circle North Carolina created a community fundraiser for their county school districts called BIODIESEL 4 SCHOOLS that encourages local businesses to donate used cooking oil to be converted into biodiesel which provides fuel to the school bus fleets at a savings to the community.
Consider biodiesel co-products as alternatives to traditional cleaners – Many biodiesel producers like Portland Maine’s ME Standard Biofuels create co-products like soaps and industrial cleaning products during the biodiesel production process. Purchasing these items as an alternative to traditional cleaning products further supports local biodiesel producers and the industry as a whole.
Support the business that support the industry – Check out your local biodiesel producer’s website to see what fleets use their product. Consider these companies when making your purchasing decisions. Companies across the spectrum are switching their fleets to biodiesel and biodiesel blends. By choosing these businesses and letting them know you support their choice to use local bio, you support the biodiesel industry in your community.
Eat more fried food (from restaurants that work with a biodiesel producer) – Don’t get us wrong, the SBA isn’t encouraging eating more fried food, just choosing to eat fried food from businesses in your community that provide grease to a local biodiesel producer. Efforts like Hawaii’s Restaurants For Renewables are a great example of local businesses doing their part to support community-based biodiesel.
Create your own biodiesel with DIY Biodiesel Kits – Companies like Evolution Biodiesel and Springboard Biodiesel sell kits for small–scale noncommercial use. Don’t forget to refer to a manual such as Penn State’s Biodiesel Safety and Best Management Practices for Small-Scale Noncommercial Use and Production.
Breathe easier knowing that by contributing to your local community, you are making a global impact. Happy New Year from the SBA!