We only have one earth, and as humans, we are slowly destroying it, knowingly and unknowingly. In recent years, there has been an increase in pushing for a greener earth and efforts to reduce green gas emissions.
Practicing the 5Rs of management is essential towards creating a cleaner environment. The 5Rs include:
There are certain waste materials that present a challenge when it comes to disposal. One of them is used cooking oil. Oil is used everywhere, from homes to restaurants, and disposal is a huge problem.
Education on Oil Disposal
If we are to achieve our goals of the green earth, we must educate everyone on how to dispose of used cooking oil. A shockingly high number of people have no idea how to dispose of the oil and simply pour it down the drain. Pouring the oil down the drain comes with many problems such as blockages after the oil solidifies, causing untold damages and repair costs. Here are some tips on how to dispose of the cooking oil:
Re-use The Oil
Re-using cooking should be obvious, but a good number of people tend to use the oil just once and pour it out! Re-using the oil is one of the best ways of recycling used cooking oil. However, you must be careful not to over-use it, especially for fish and meats. For vegetables and potatoes, you can re-use it several times. To be sure that the oil is safe for use, make sure you:
- choose the right oil
- filter it before the next use
- watch the temperature while you are frying because when the oil is too hot, it tends to break down and makes your food very greasy
- Check that it is not cloudy because that means it’s time to dispose of it
Recycle it into Bio-diesel
One of the most economical ways of used oil recycling is to convert it into biodiesel. This is more suitable for restaurants and hotels that use a lot of oil on a daily basis. Biodiesel is clean burning fuel and renewable too. Biodiesel is a result of a chemical reaction, which relies on alcohol and vegetable oils or animal fats.
While it may not be easy for restaurants to do the recycling, they can look for companies that recycle used oil into biodiesel and arrange for pick-up. That would be a huge burden off their shoulders as cooking oil disposal forms one of their biggest challenges. There are also books on this process and on the internet, in case one prefers to be adventurous and try to produce their own biodiesel.
Some vegetable oils such as olive oil, rapeseed oil or canola oil are biodegradable, but in little quantities. Just pour a little oil into your compost, too much will instead slow the composting process down. The excess oil tends to create a barrier that is waterproof around the other compost materials. This reduces the amount of air and water flowing through, both necessary for the composting process. Be careful and add very small amounts for the composting process to happen to its natural completion.
Keep the oil for killing weeds
If you have a small garden, you know how problematic weeds can be. Green earth is our ultimate goal, and in trying to limit the number of chemicals we use, you can kill weeds using leftover cooking oil. Used oil recycling demands we use unorthodox methods to attain greener earth. The oil smothers plants and it makes a great natural weed killer. However, use oils that are biodegradable such as rapeseed, canola, or olive oil.
Responsible waste disposal is a responsibility for every person on earth if we are to save this beautiful planet. Global warming is real and if we do not learn how to dispose of our waste responsibly, we are dooming our planet.
Used cooking oil is a reality of life; fried foods are popular, making its proper disposal critical. Learn the proper ways of managing your waste and we shall be onestep away from the greener earth we desire.