Florida's Environmental Initiative

Florida’s Environmental Initiative

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Florida is very progressive in terms of creating healthy, sustainable communities that foster economic prosperity and the overall quality of the environment. Green Star Biodiesel has made it a priority to support and uphold the shared ethos to protect, conserve, and recycle natural resources such as used cooking oil collected from dining establishments.

Did you know that the used cooking oil collected from restaurant grease traps is the very same oil that comprises more than 80 percent of biodiesel? Since this huge percentage of biodiesel is made from vegetable oil and animal fats, it is really important for sustainability to schedule regular used oil collection services for your business.

But where does biodiesel come from, and what does it mean for the climate? The majority of biodiesel is made from the same used vegetable oil used for cooking, and roughly 40 percent is made from recycled/ inedible fats or oils that are not used or consumed directly as human food. The canola and soybean oil that comprise the majority of biodiesel is essentially the same as the cooking oil you can pick up at the grocery store and use in your deep fryers. The used cooking oil made up of corn, soy, sunflower, and a variety of other vegetables become inedible when collected from your grease traps. These varieties will generally be repurposed and recycled for animal feed and other industrial purposes.

Recognize the Merits of Biodiesel in the Context of Environmental Sustainability 

It is no secret that environmental pollution is a growing problem.  However, creative solutions are emerging with each passing year.  The recycling of oil and grease into biodiesel provides legitimate reason for hope.  Those working toward creating a sustainable environment rave about biodiesel as a renewable and clean fuel.  Biodiesel’s properties are somewhat similar to regular diesel fuel yet the primary difference is the biodiesel variety is created from renewable resources including oil, grease, animal fats and vegetable oil.  However, the sad truth is this comparably green fuel was developed several years ago yet has not been used at a high frequency. 

Thankfully, the biodiesel industry is gaining steam, production costs are decreasing and the masses are becoming educated about the merits of this green fuel.  Add in the fact that more research is being performed to expand our understanding of biodiesel’s merits and there is all the more reason for hope as we move forward into a future in which environmental sustainability is front and center.

Making Biodiesel From Oil Will Soon be the Norm

As time progresses, the environmental sustainability movement is gaining steam.  Though making biodiesel from oil and grease certainly takes effort and time, it is well worth it.  It is now possible to ramp up the production of biodiesel surprisingly quickly.  In fact, only the limits of the oil on-hand mitigate biodiesel production capability.  This is precisely why food outlets and restaurants with massive quantities of oil and grease are now hopping on the biodiesel bandwagon.   

Above all, the primary driver of the push to create biodiesel from oil and grease is the benefit to the environment.  Society is gradually shifting away from harmful, pollutive fossil fuels to renewable fuel sources that do not degrade our fragile environment.  The bottom line is the consumption of our planet’s limited oil is taking a significant toll on our surrounding environment.  There is now an opportunity to reuse oil and grease by converting it to biodiesel, ultimately reducing our dependence on natural yet finite resources such as crude oil.  Vegetable oil is completely renewable and green while crude oil is not renewable and ultimately ends up damaging the planet.

The Demand for Biodiesel Will Continue to Increase

It is quite possible the federal government will eventually mandate restaurants and food outlets convert their used grease and oil into biodiesel in the name of environmental sustainability.  After all, California and several other countries plan to outlaw gas-fueled vehicles within the next couple decades.  A similar evolution is likely to occur in the restaurant and hospitality industries with the overarching goal of preserving the planet for future generations of people and wildlife.  At the moment, the market for biodiesel and renewable energy is rapidly expanding.  Clean energy is in high demand as we search for renewable substitutes for finite and harmful fossil fuels.

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Reference: http://biodiesel.org/what-is-biodiesel/biodiesel-basics

The bottom line is it no longer make sense for restaurants and food outlets to generate thousands of gallons of used oil and grease only to trash it.  Rather, the time has come to work smarter by converting such used grease and oil into something useful.  As an example, used oil and grease can be converted into glycerin, a biodiesel byproduct and subsequently processed at a plant to create pure biodiesel.  

States such as California have a standard for renewable fuel designed to minimize the state’s carbon footprint.  Such standards are likely to become the norm as we move forward.  It might not be long until state governments as well as federal governments across the globe invest in the infrastructure necessary to make oil and grease conversion into biodiesel commonplace.

The Time to Take Action is Now

It is clear to see how important it is from an environmental and climate perspective for the relationship between rising biodiesel use in the United States and the global palm oil expansion in Southeast Asia.  This cyclical statistic of consumption and waste that spans globally now is a major driver of global warming, pollution and deforestation. It is more crucial than ever to be aware of the benefits inherent in having your used cooking oil professionally collected to be recycled into biodiesel and other products. This could help mitigate the devastating effects of the supply and demand here in the US. If we are able to recycle this used cooking oil and yellow grease and collect/dispose of it in an ecological manner, we can help decrease the deforestation that occurs due to palm and soy oil plantations in such places as Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and so forth. This is Green Star Biodiesel’s mission to do our part in the greater Florida area as part of this global initiative.

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