Let’s face it, we are all creatures of habit and we like to take the “easier” route, if at all possible. This is not to say that we simply do not care about issues that we seem to have no control over, or that may affect other people out of our sight or even generations in the future, but we just don’t seem to have as much focus when we are not directly affected. This can lead to apathy and inaction, yet through education we can come to terms with the fact that we really should be proactive and make changes for the greater good.
What is in it for me to switch over to the use of biodiesel fuel? There are a number of good reasons for doing so and the answers have added credibility now, even compared to only five or 10 years ago. There are now a number of ecological and economical benefits associated with biodiesel, which did not necessarily mean as much to us a number of years back.
Firstly, carbon emissions are now definitely the enemy of the peace. The “green” movement has become main-stream. We may see government action to force a reduction in the use of conventional fuels, adding a premium to gasoline, for example. The government has also mandated stricter fuel economies and greenhouse gas emissions may well become hazardous pollutants. Biodiesel helps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions associated with traditional fuels, by a factor of almost 80%.
Homemade biodiesel fuels can use waste products such as leftover cooking oils, helping to cut down on the issues associated with waste disposal. Biodiesel may also be derived from vegetable products, such as soy, which is readily available within our agricultural communities. Turning to this fuel for our transportation means could provide a fantastic shot in the arm to these communities and farmers, as the crops could be used to full advantage.
If we could rely on alternative fuel methods such as biodiesel for more and more of our vehicle transportation, we would not lay ourselves open as much to the peaks and troughs associated with oil production, often in far off overseas lands. We now know what $4 per gallon gasoline and regular diesel here in the UK at £5.00 a gallon or $8.00 represents, but five or 10 years ago could not even imagine such a thing. Biodiesel can be made from domestically available sources and can help promote our energy security in no uncertain way.
The US automotive industry is changing significantly and we can expect to see an introduction of smaller and more economically viable cars there, similar to those seen in Europe for the last decade. In Europe, more than 50% of the vehicles run on diesel and as such are ready-made to accept biodiesel fuels. There will undoubtedly be a trend in the United States toward the adoption of these types of vehicles, giving further credibility to the thought of making biodiesel widely available through our distribution networks. When the next decade ends, biodiesel fuel will be a staple part of all our economies.