Choose the Environment, Farmers and Biodiesel

By Natalie Harris, Kansas Soybean Intern On July 18, 2019

Biodiesel fuel at the gas pump

Filling up at the fuel pump is a regular ritual for everyone. That full tank means we can commute to work, school, the grocery store or even our favorite restaurant. Doesn’t it make sense to choose an environmentally friendly fuel? 

Growing up on a farm, I was taught to be a steward of the land and to leave it better than I found it. To me, this means making the smart and conscious choice to take care of what we have while it’s ours — including the environment. Being raised out in the country, I had to commute for anything that I wanted to do — school, church, sports or seeing my friends. That meant I usually put quite a few miles on my car and emptied my gas tank quickly. Making the decision to choose a biofuel made the most sense for me. This tied in my love for the land and my obligation to take care of what I have.

As many of us look for new and innovative ways to be more environmentally friendly, biodiesel is a great solution. Biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning alternative to diesel. It’s made from sustainable feedstocks such as; recycled cooking oil, soybean and vegetable oils, and animal fats. Biodiesel has lower emissions compared to petroleum diesel. It’s also less toxic than table salt and breaks down just as fast as sugar. How’s that for environmentally friendly? 

Bonus: It’s produced right here in the United States and creates jobs, which helps drive the economy.

Consider the impact of using biodiesel in school buses. Children are more vulnerable to air pollution because their respiratory systems aren’t fully developed. By reducing air pollution, biodiesel would keep the air cleaner for them, causing less harm during their regualr commutes to and from school. 

Still need convincing? Biodiesel also has the highest energy balance of any fuel source. This means that it yields more units of energy than is required to make it. It also contributes to the world food supply. Processing biodiesel only uses the oil from the seed — the rest of the protein can be used to feed humans and animals. Fuel and food? That’s awesome! 

Biodiesel helps all of us — including farmers. Soybeans are one of the major crops used to make biodiesel. Biodiesel production adds $0.63 to the value of each bushel of soybeans. For example, for a 100-acre plot of land, which yields 50 bushels per acre, could earn more than $3,000 for the same crop! Plus, biodiesel helps cut down on the wear and tear in the engine for farm equipment like tractors and combines. Biodiesel helps farmers take a huge step toward being even better stewards of their land. If they already grow soybeans, they don’t need to use more land for biodiesel. They can do more with the land they already have!  

Biodiesel has proven to be a reliable and safe source of fuel. By supporting this alternative biofuel, we can make a real difference. So, the next time you need to fill up your diesel vehicle, choose the environment and choose farmers. Choose biodiesel!

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