In today’s world of public access to real-time media updates it is no surprise that the interest in and support for important issues concerning our environment tend to ebb and flow like tides in the ocean. As concerned and proactive citizens our attention is constantly being pulled in many different directions. While all of the issues we are drawn to are important and carry their own merit it is important that we do not loose sight of the end goal and that we can continue to strive for solutions that will help us live in a fossil-fuel free world. Biodiesel is an old technology that is not being used to it’s full potential as a tool to help end our dependence on fossil fuels and move collectively toward renewable energy solutions.
The biodiesel industry has continued to stay resilient through years of inconsistent public and policy support, and the SBA would love to see the day when biodiesel use is not a foreign concept to the majority. With the release of An Inconvenient Truth the world’s eyes were on the environment and solutions that could be taken in our everyday lives to make the changes necessary to get our planet on a corrective course. Out of this concern and willingness to do better, the community-scale biodiesel movement and the SBA were born. Since then, the biodiesel industry (on every scale) has experienced it’s own victories and defeats. From tax incentives that helped make a community-scale biodiesel movement possible and government support for small scale start-ups to changes in tax law that made it difficult for local-scale biodiesel producers to survive and seeming government support for globalized production and export, our industry has seen it all. In turn the US Biodiesel industry has persevered and so has the community-scale producer and biodiesel user.
Today in the final weeks of 2015 the eyes of the world have once again shifted to the issue of climate change and the steps that each of us can take to be a part of a collective solution. It is crucial that we remember that local, sustainably produced biodiesel is one part of a host of solutions for this critical issue. Here is a list of ways that you can help support the biodiesel movement in your community. If you drive a diesel vehicle, using locally produced biodiesel and biodiesel blends is a no-brainer. But for those of us who do not own a diesel vehicle there are still ways to support the cause.
- Contact your local school district and ask them to use (or continue to use) biodiesel blends in the local school bus fleet. This simple solution takes no change to infrastructure, usually does not effect cost significantly and makes an instant reduction in harmful emissions and an improvement in the quality of air for the student bus riders.
- If you use HEAT OIL for your home furnace look into available BIOHEAT options. BIOHEAT is a biodiesel blend that can be used (without hardware changes) in most home furnaces. BIOHEAT immediately reduces the amount of harmful emissions from furnace use (up to 80% depending on blend used) and the oil is created from local feedstocks like used cooking oil instead of fossil fuels.
- Support the companies in your community that support local biodiesel. Go online and find your local biodiesel producer. Use your local biodiesel producers web resources to identify the companies that run their fleets on this local, more sustainable, environmentally friendly fuel and make ann effort to give your business to those companies. To make this more effective contact these companies and let them know you are using their product or service because of their choice to use local biodiesel.
- Be vocal and spread the word. When you see a diesel vehicle ask the driver ‘Do you use biodiesel?’ if the answer is yes…it’s high-five time! If the answer is no, let them know that there is a clean energy solution that is produced in America that they can use without making changes to their vehicle, then tell them the name of the biodiesel producer most local to your community.
These solutions may seem simple…that is because THEY ARE.
The world is aligning to take action with a DRAFT PACT from The Paris Climate Talks and NOW is the perfect time for each of us to do our part and tell our friends how they can do theirs. This holiday season, don’t just spread the holiday cheer, spread the word about community-based biodiese