After Thanksgiving, the gluttonous and eco-friendly can unite through Operation REACH's Gulfsouth Youth Biodiesel Project, which is collecting cooking oil used to deep-fry turkeys and turning it into biofuel. From Nov. 29 to Dec. 4, drop off the used cooking oil at eight locations in the city (see the list at www.operationreach.com/grease). Make sure you let the oil cool completely and use a funnel to return it to its original container.
OperationREACH stages campaigns in low-income communities to recruit youth from 16 to 25 years old to start green-collar careers by converting used cooking oil into biodiesel fuel. When enough is harvested, the biodiesel will be distributed to consumers.
The goal of the project is to give students a skill that stimulates eco-friendly consumption in the future and inform cooks of an alternative to disposing of their used oil. Participating students will convert the oil to biodiesel at Louisiana Technical College, where they will learn about engineering, chemistry and environmental responsibility. According to OperationREACH, the oil used to fry a turkey can be converted into enough biodiesel to fuel an 18-wheeler (or any vehicle running on traditional diesel fuel).
Visit www.operationreach.org/grease for more information. — Jamie Carroll