Electricity From Used Vegetable Oil?


Several years ago I read about the problems restaurants faced with the disposal of used vegetable oil from cooking. If you have ever parked behind a fast food eatery you may have noticed a dumpster area for trash disposal as well as a container for storing used vegetable oil. The area is often tucked away behind the building to prevent the public from seeing and smelling the waste. Restaurants pay companies to haul away the solid and liquid waste.

I also learned many years ago that the diesel engine was invented by Adolf Diesel to run on peanut oil to help farmers with an affordable fuel source. Most diesel fuel now is petroleum based. Individuals can still run their diesel vehicles on vegetable oil by using a Grease Car type system or by converting the vegetable oil to biodiesel which requires a process and equipment using chemicals. I have always wanted to convert my VW diesel to veggie oil. Imagine free fuel that is also good for the environment and your exhaust smells like french fries.

Recently I have been thinking about generating electricity with used vegetable oil from restaurants using a diesel generator. I was surprised to see that a company has developed such a product for restaurants to generate electricity and hot water from used oil. The unit even filters the waste oil prior to using it to generate electricity and hot water. The product is called the Vegawatt Power System. For more information visit web site.

We do not use  used vegetable oil at our inn to power the structures or heat water but we do utilize many eco-friendly methods.

Less Garbage Is Green


Early this week my wife and I loaded up our VW Camper Van with bagged garbage to take it to the Lumpkin County landfill/transfer station. Since our middle son moved to Gainesville we have not been able to borrow his pickup truck for trash hauling so the van had to do. We try to create less garbage for the Earth and to reduce trips to the dump.

We placed tarps inside the van to catch any spills from leaky trash bags, loaded the van and went on our way to the dump. My wife commented that there we no odors caused by the garbage. We check our guest trash for food at check outs and also take all of our unused food and use it for composting. That explained the lack of odor.

We were also surprised that we had not made the dump trip in over 3 months and marvelled at the small amount of trash we accumulated in the last 3 months. The trash were were taking to the dump were items we could not recycle or compost. Less garbage was not only possible but easy.

When my wife goes grocery shopping she tries to purchase items in recyclable packaging. By recycling the packaging versus disposing we keep it out of the landfill which helps the environment by creating less garbage.

Here in the county we can recycle some plastics (mainly the water bottles guests leave us), cans and paper. We also use shredded paper/junk mail in our composter. Glass has to be taken to another county for recycling. Many wine bottles are bottle trees in the yard. See bottle trees for more information.

Being mindful about what you purchase and the packaging it comes in is very green. So is composting food to keep it out of the landfill. Start today and help the environment. Please do your part by creating less garbage and everyone will benefit.

To learn more about how we help the environment visit our inn page being green.

Hemp – The Environmentally Sustainable Alternative

Hemp has over 25,000 product uses that help the environment including paper, plastics and food. Hemp paper saves the forests and hemp plastic does not require oil. The plant is easy to grow and requires no fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.

Why is it illegal in the USA? This is the industrial version. Not the kind you smoke. We use it in our composting toilets at the inn. It is crazy that our government bans this wonderful plant.

Eat Vegetarian- Even Part Time- Helps the Planet

Did you know that going meat free helps the Earth?

The meat industry is a top source for greenhouse gas methane according to a 2006 United Nations Food & Agricultural Organization report. In fact meat and dairy production create more carbon emissions than all the cars and trucks on the highways.

Reason why is that cows emit methane which traps 21 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Their solid waste produces nitrous oxide which is a greenhouse gas 300 times more powerful than CO2.

Try going meat free for one day with the Great American Meatout on March 20th.

We are not advocating that everyone should go vegetarian. Just cut back on the amount and frequency that you eat meat.