Sunday, August 31, 2014

Heat from compost ???



-- Innovative Use For Compost -- 

Many of our loyal blog readers and former radio show listeners may remember the many times I've highlighted the benefits of composting, composting organizations and companies, how-to compost, compost systems, and how some companies have high-tech set ups where they are able to encourage and collect gasses released from the composting process that are used as fuel to heat buildings, create electricity and so on.

Today I'd like to talk a little about one really interesting way for at-homer's to use their compost in yet another way.

As most gardeners know, composts can generate a lot of heat. Some gardeners place a compost pile next to their greenhouse for the winter months, others will put a compost inside the greenhouse with a pipe for ventilation. The heat from the compost will help the greenhouse compete with the colder days of winter, and I suppose it would be pleasant to venture into a warm greenhouse to dump the kitchen compost bucket and not have to deal with snow, etc.

What a lot of people are doing now is building a compost pile over plastic water lines that are then filled with water. The water in those lines will absorb the heat, and because temperatures can get up to 149˚, the water can get quite hot. By pumping the water through radiant floors or into the hot water system, people can save up to 80% of their costs. 

Want to learn more about this? Check out the links below:

 https://www.facebook.com/FARMSHOWMagazine
 


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!  



Saturday, August 30, 2014

World of Writing, interview



-- World of Writing -- 


Neal James began writing in 2007 when a series of short stories found favor on a number of international writing sites. Since then, he has released five novels and one anthology. He has appeared in both the national and local press, and has also been a regular at branches of Waterstones and local reading groups and libraries in his home counties of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Find out more about Neal James and all of his writing on his website:  www.nealjames.webs.com



Q: How have your books gotten published?

After self-publishing a selection of my short stories using Lulu, I began looking around, in 2007, for a publishing house prepared to launch my first novel. I came across Pneuma Springs after failing to grab the attention of any of the usual literary agencies and publishing houses, and have remained with them ever since. Pneuma are a publishing company operating in Kent, in the south east of England, and use the "Print On Demand" method of publishing.


Q: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I usually decide how a particular story is going to end, and then draw out a plot around that strategy. Of course, the ending planned is not always the one I started out with, but that in itself makes the writing so much more interesting. There are always twists and turns in my books, and I try to keep the reader guessing right until the end.


Q: What has been the most surprising thing you learned from creating your books?

The fact that, as a relatively unknown author, large book chains like Waterstones and the network of libraries in the UK have all taken my writing seriously. This has given me a window into other media such as radio and internet blogging sites, and I am building up quite a following using social media like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google+.

Q: How many books/stories have you written?

I currently have six books (five novels and one anthology) in circulation. The books are all crime related at the moment, but the volume of short stories covers a wide range of literary genres. My short stories number over one hundred and have featured in our local press and a number on internet writing sites. 



Q: Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer?

Read widely, particularly in the genre which interests you as far as your own writing goes. Look at the established authors and see how they weave their stories together. Study the characters which they create and try to understand how the authors flesh them out – there’s nothing worse than a two-dimensional hero. Never, never, try to edit your own work – it’s invariably a bad idea. Get an editor competent in the structure of English grammar to check for errors. They will be there.



Q: Do you hear from your readers? / What do they say?

Yes I do. I have yet to receive a bad review, and feedback via e-mail and the usual social media sites has been more in the line of asking when the next book will be coming out. The main question I am faced with relates to how I manage to dream up the plots which come out in my books. The answer is always ‘imagination’ – without that, writing would be superfluous.

   Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!  




Friday, August 29, 2014

Prank it forward



Whew - OK - so "a few days" ended up being a week, before I could get back over to this blog. After dozens of jars canned, containers frozen, jams jarred up, and many meals and sharings with friends, family, neighbors and co-workers... we have caught up to the supply. We had a horrific wind yesterday that knocked down a beautiful ornamental sunflower in the garden - it split at the base as if a saw went through the stalk. I grieved for that plant - it was so lovely, so bright yellow, so tall, so many flowers on it yet to bloom, such an attractive plant that brought lots of pollinators... and today it is wilted, lying on its side. Sad. 

Thank you for your patience in this regard. I hope you enjoyed scrolling through the archives, though, viewing posts and following the many links they offer. 

Today I'd like to share with you a link that my eldest brother sent me (thanks, Larry!):

-- Prank It Forward -- 


MediocreFilms "pranked" a homeless shelter - by turning it into a 5-star restaurant. Some of the participants had never felt respected, most had never been treated so special, and quite a few had never, ever had steak in their lives! Find out how you can help people in need by sharing a prank at Prank It FWD.
http://devour.com/video/prank-it-fwd/

 According to the Prank It FWD website - (http://sites.break.com/prank-it-fwd) "Break.com is bringing back its “pranks for good” campaign for charity. To raise awareness for homelessness and poverty during the holidays, Break will donate $1 for every 1,000 views any of its positive prank videos receives. To raise the stakes, Break will also donate $1 for every share of its pranks that includes the hashtag #PrankitFWD. All money raised goes towards the non-profit organization, DoSomething.org."

I watched several of the videos they had up on that site and ended up with tears of joy, just sharing the emotions of the people involved. Thank goodness for organizations like this and the many people behind that make it possible. 


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Apologies to our readers - I've been inundated with processing harvests from our garden and neighbor's generosity, canning, freezing, making soups and casseroles, jams, jellies, sauces, etc. As such I've been taking a few days off from the blog and hope you understand. Please do scroll through the archives though and hopefully enjoy anything you've missed so far. I'll be back soon!

In appreciation - your friendly blogger,
Lillian

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Online Advertising Strategies




4 Types of Online Advertising Strategies Every Business Should Look Into



* Today's article was contributed by Tiffany Olson who works full-time at Optimize Worldwide, a Northern California  marketing company specializing in online advertising, SEO, and website development. Creating more powerful results for their clients.



In a world where the average person uses the Internet for a good part of their day, whether it’s for business or for pleasure, companies must adjust their marketing efforts if they want to be discovered by consumers. While traditional advertising with magazines, newspapers, television and radio may never go completely out of style, there is definitely a growing need for businesses who really want to stand out from the competition to incorporate online advertising strategies into their plans. Those companies, in particular, that are working with smaller marketing budgets can often see their dollar go a lot further on the Internet than on other advertising platforms. If you’re just beginning to explore your online options, these are a few good places to start.



Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing refers to the paid advertisements that can be seen at the very top or along the side of search results in Google, Bing, etc. that are related to the keywords for a specific product or service. Those areas are prime real estate in search engine results since the majority of consumers never get past the first few rankings. This is also referred to as pay-per-click advertising because, as an advertiser, your money is spent only when a possible customer actually clicks on the ad, sending them to your website for more information.



Social Media Advertising

Social media is no longer just for posting your current mood or pictures of your recent vacation. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. are all viable networks for catching the attention of consumers from all over the world and offer their own advertising alternatives. With hashtags and live chats, it’s never been easier to discover what people are talking about and how you can relate that to your business. Social media advertising allows you to target your campaigns to a certain audience who has already expressed interest in your product or service. Another advantage is knowing that social media is used throughout the day and on all types of devices, so your ads can be seen from anywhere at any time. 




Retargeting

A newer approach that businesses have found to be successful is something called retargeting marketing. This involves tracking consumers that have recently visited your website or clicked on a banner ad but didn’t make a transaction. Retargeted ads serve to remind them of their previous interest by following them around to different sites that they visit. Seeing the product or service pop up again and again creates brand awareness and it becomes more likely for the consumer to choose your company when they decide to convert into a paying customer.



Banner Ads

Banner ads use text and images to appeal to Internet users and call them to action (click for more details, call now, schedule an appointment, etc.). These ads are static and placed on multiple websites around the Internet according to the specific audience you wish to target. Once an ad is clicked on, the customer will be redirected to the company’s site to complete their transaction or to learn more details about the business and their offerings.



Not every company is going to have the same online advertising needs, so it’s important to do your research about each strategy and decide which plan would be the most beneficial to you and reach the most potential customers.




  Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!  

Monday, August 18, 2014

Green Business



 -- Quote of the Day -- 


"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything. "

~ William Shakespeare



-- Green Business -- 

* Today's article was written by Nick Adams - the Service Manager at ReachTEL, an Australian based direct marketing company. ReachTEL specializes in modern marketing strategies including SMS alerts, voice blasts and email marketing plans.

Businesses are increasingly being held accountable by consumers for their impact on the environment. Governments are also mandating reductions in carbon emissions and will likely continue to enforce new environmental regulations on businesses. Consumers are choosing "green" companies more than ever. Email, SMS and Voice communication solutions enable your business to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your day to day communications. Through the use of highly automated electronic delivery mediums you can reduce your impact on the environment and increase your overall communication effectiveness.

A recent study conducted by the International Telecommunications Union has shown that switching from direct mail to an electronic communication method such as voice, SMS or email reduces CO2 emissions by a staggering 98.5%.

Electronic delivery means no tree logging, no paper waste and substantially reduced carbon emissions required for delivery. The automated nature of broadcast technology also means a significant reduction in energy costs.

The impact of undelivered and returned mail can be expensive both from a cost and environmental point of view. Consumers are so overwhelmed with the amount of junk mail received, a business is lucky if the consumer even sees their message. With electronic communication delivery, the cost to your bottom line and the environment of unsuccessful communications can be reduced to zero.

Moving to a green solution doesn't mean you have to compromise on the success of your campaign. Switching from direct mail to electronic delivery can actually increase the return on investment for your campaign. Response rates to SMS, email and voice campaigns regularly exceed direct mail campaigns.

In addition to the direct savings to be made by switching to electronic delivery, there are indirect savings such as mitigation of staffing costs associated with mail merging and physical sorting, reduced wear and tear on printing equipment and zero costs for franking and returned mail handling.

The greenest paper is no paper

- Completely paperless technology means zero tree logging
- Zero physical waste
- Zero carbon emissions related to delivery (postal vs. electronic delivery)
- Zero cost for undeliverable mail
- Positive "green" brand recognition
- Increased ROI
- 98.5% reduction in overall carbon emissions

The bottom line is simple - demonstrate to your customers your commitment to the environment through the use of environmentally friendly electronic communications solutions.

 \\
  Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 
  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The sensitive plant



-- Quote of the Day -- 

"A sensitive plant in a garden grew,

And the young winds fed it with silver dew,

And it opened its fan-like leaves to the light,

and closed them beneath the kisses of night."


~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant,” 1820


Such a touching quote. I so love spending time in the garden. Now that the early potatoes and the garlic have been harvested, we are taking out the nid-season potatoes soon - and space is once again opening up in the garden. As the areas are cleared and cleaned, I've been adding some amendments (green sand, alfalfa pellets, kelp meal, etc.) and forking the soil over with a little extra peat since the beds are still a little too heavy with clay despite all the work we did and compost we put in etc. earlier. Next - it is long past time to plant in the fall beets, carrots and so on... and still leave enough room for September's garlic plantings. We had some good rain on Thursday that helped cool down the air and clean away all the dust from the roads. It's been a bad year for forest fires so the rain has hopefuly helped with that and also cleans the air of the smoke haze that settles in the valley. 

I've been harvesting tomatilloes, chard, potatoes, basil, tomatoes, beans, summer squash and herbs like crazy - keeping me busy in the kitchen, which never seems to stay clean long :)


  Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 
 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

world of writing, interview


 -- World Of Writing --

* Today's guest is author Maggie Tideswell , who lives with her husband, Gareth, and their cat, Felix, in Johannesburg, South Africa. They have 3 grown-up children and have been blessed with 2 grandchildren. The paranormal has always interested her and she finds ghost and questions like why some people linger after death and others not fascinates her. Alternative religions has been of particular interest to Maggie. For these reasons, South Africa and particularly the southern Cape region, paranormal and the craft all have a place in her writing. Tideswell has 2 published books, Dark Moon in 2011 and Moragh, Holly's Ghost in 2013. There are many more to follow. Find out more about Maggie via: http://maggietiedeswell.blogspot.com/
  - & -
https://www.amazon.com/author/maggietideswell   

 

Q: How have your books gotten published?

I was looking for an agent when I heard that it was easier to find a publisher. I took a few days to work through the Predators & Editors publishers listing and submitted to any who accepted email submissions, accepted unagented submissions and were reading the paranormal romance genre. There were 35 in total. All Things That Matter Press, a small press in Maine, USA was the first to respond. They published both my first and second books.

Q: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I never have less than 3 books going at the same time. I believe one reaches a point in the story telling process when one must take a step back from the story, work on something else for a while, to give the story time to mellow. When one comes back to it, one looks at it with fresh eyes and new perspective.


 
Q: How many books/stories have you written?

In the 20 odd years since I started writing, I completed 7 novels, all in the paranormal romance genre, and have plot lines for 5 more. My 2nd published book, Moragh - Holly’s Ghost, has now turned into a series, titled Moragh Haunting. I am working on book 2 and 3 at the same time. Mt 3rd book, Roxanne’s Ghost, which will be published soon, will also become a series. I worry that I won’t have enough time to write everything I still want to.

Q: Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer?

Perseverance is a very attractive trait in a writer, so cultivate it. Never give up. Remember that writing is a craft, and has to be learnt like any other craft. The more you do it, the better you get at it.



Q: When starting a book project do you choose the title first, or does that come later?

Oh no, the story names the book. I give a new project a working title, but only when the book nears completion do I know what the title should be.

 

  Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 
  





Friday, August 15, 2014

eco-village


-- Quote of the Day -- 


" To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug. "

~ Helen Keller


Eco-Village - Attempting to create a natural balance for the environment


* Today's article was written by Stuart Hopes who shares information here about how an eco-village is kind of like a mini society that focuses on permaculture, ensuring a balanced relationship with nature, micro-systems, human traffic, community, buildings, and more.  Further information can be found at: http://ecovillage.com


With the aim of creating and presenting to the world an outstanding example, of what it means to be alive in contact with nature and in a sustainable way, then in this regard the global eco-village network concept is developed. This helps in auditing and provides the measuring rods for every individual and also for the existing villages and for communities, in comparing their current status.

There is variety of eco-friendly products available in the market now a day like umbrella, car, etc and many more. The umbrella has been put forth by Green Home Company for the first time in the market. This is the special type of non biodegradable umbrella which is made from recycled plastic and shredded wood. The fabric of the umbrella is also made up from recycled plastic which again reduces air pollution and is manufactured without usage of any poisonous toxins materials. The second most important product in this category is Eco trend collagen natural interior paint which is of a very superior quality and its tendency of collagen binding and mineral additives for mold and mildew resistance and also for generating negative ions which also results in enhancing indoor air quality.

Eco Village works with the goal of becoming more and more social, economical and ecologically sustainable. There may be small population area of people ranging from 50-150 as this type of size is considered to be the maximum social networking. It is often composed of people who have chosen an alternative to be in centralized electrical, water and sewage systems. Many of the people will see the breaking down of this type of traditional forms of community having wasteful consumerist lifestyles. The goal of it is to be a sustainable habitat and provides most of its needs on site. However it is always not possible to get self-sufficient goal or desired outcome.

The hindrance of restrictive policies such as zoning and building codes in the development of housing and infrastructure in urban areas in particular is also discussed. An Eco Village normally relies on green infrastructural capital, renewable energy, ecological footprint, etc. it may an indigenous group which traditionally were very much self sufficient and living in a close relation with nature. But the modernity of western living has very much changed this type of relationships with a great deal. That’s why one wishes to use permaculture as a tool to face this problem. And also help in empowering the new world changers to make the real differences in their own countries. 





  Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 
 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

gardening events



-- Gardening events -- 

Growing Vegetable Seed in Northern Ontario
Thursday August 14, 2014
Thunder Bay, ON

Integrating Seed Production into Market Gardens
Wednesday August 20, 2014
1350 Highway 54
Caledonia, ON


For information check out http://seeds.ca/events

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A word about the media - part 2



--  Book Marketing Guide -- 

 Some of you may recall that Dave and I have a published book marketing guide available that discusses virtually every aspect of marketing and promotion, offers tips, ways to save time and money, avoid mishaps and a myriad of resources and quotes from people in the industry to help writers feel less alone and comforted when stressed. ** Look for part 1 of this discussion published on August 11th.


Purple Snowflake Marketing - How to make your book stand out in a crowd



A Word About The Media - Part 2:

Doing a little research about what people go through in various positions in the media via online publications, reading a few articles, joining a few forums and discussions or listening to a few interviews via audio (podcasts, videocasts, online radio) is well worth the investment of your time.

Knowing their time-lines, the publications needs, specific requirements and guidelines and also the contact's name are key to any query process as well. But understanding what their daily life is like will help nurture an empathy for their workload and will help in the way you handle queries, follow-ups and otehr communications with another professional.

The first thing to be aware of is that professionals are extremely busy, they have hundreds of queries hitting their inbox or coming in the mail and have only a few moments in their day to deal with them. Because of this they may only spend 30 seconds browsing the first few sentences and from that they will try to determine what you will be like to work with and if your query fits their audience.

Whatever we do in marketing our books, we always follow one big rule - Common Courtesy. Never make anyone work for anything. Show that you are respectful of the staff, their time and schedule by providing everything they need before they ask for it. Make every option clear and easily accessible. Always follow up with your contacts with brief outlines of previous discussions so they don't have to go looking for information. It really boils down to deciding what would make you want support that book or individual author if you were in that person's shoes.

Being clear about how you will market an event makes a big difference as to whether a publication or publisher will be interested in a project. And finally - but most importantly - always thank them regardless of the outcome.



  Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 
 


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

recycling & clothing



-- Quote of the Day -- 

"Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live."

~ Sébastien-Roch Nicolas


-- Positive News -- 


In our Trash Talk - It's Easy To Be Green book series we have a section that focuses on clothing... there are so many ways to reuse, repurpose and even recycle clothing! And as a consumer we can buy used or buy new clothing with recycled content.

I was recently reading an article (  http://tinyurl.com/q95mmg6 ) about the Die Kop Swop Shop  a new business that focuses encouraging recycling through a clothing and stationery exchange.

The store staff and volunteers show participants a variety of items that are made from recyclable products, creating dialogue about the importance of recycling. Women and children bring in recyclables that they've spent time collecting around their homes, streets and neighborhoods and in exchange are given blankets, clothing, crayons, school supplies, kitchen ware and other household items.  The children were also given oranges and the staff are thinking about instigating a hand-wash program for the kids before handing out oranges in the future. 

The store is run mainly by donations - they accept stationary, crayons, pencils, rulers, clothing, towels, and much more. Visit the link above to find contact information if you want to help them out or to learn more about their efforts.



  Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 
 

Monday, August 11, 2014

a word about media - part 1



--  Book Marketing Guide -- 

 Some of you may recall that Dave and I have a published book marketing guide available that discusses virtually every aspect of marketing and promotion, offers tips, ways to save time and money, avoid mishaps and a myriad of resources and quotes from people in the industry to help writers feel less alone and comforted when stressed. I'm going to share a brief 2-part excerpt here today (August 11th) and the 2nd part on August 13th.


Purple Snowflake Marketing - How to make your book stand out in a crowd



A Word About The Media - Part 1:

Publicity through the media is actually the most affordable and a fairly effective marketing endeavor. "Media" can come in the form of print publications (magazines, newspapers, newsletters), online publications (e-newsletters, blogs, e-zines), and audio/visual (radio, TV, you-tube). 

Newspapers usually have various columns that discuss websites, businesses, press releases, events and book reviews. Editorial coverage can add an additional level of credibility to your book. Newsletters, including those online, may be small but effective markets for your work; on average, audiences can range in size from 1000-150,000 readers per month. E-zines typically reach more than 5000 viewers. With this in mind, if you gain print space in a few e-zines in one month then you are reaching a wide audience!

With any media, there are no guarantees that the review, article or interview will be used, or it may not appear in the publication for many months. Generally, the author has little control over the timing of the release or the content of the article that is written by a staff member. Of course if you are writing the piece, it can be tweaked to tie into an upcoming event, movie, theater production, holiday season and so on. The benefit to online media exposure is that the article might be archived online for many years. a print publication might linger in living rooms, dentist offices, libraries, staff lunchrooms and the like for months or even years; however they are more often than not sent to a recycling bin shortly after their release (especially newspapers). 

Interviews cost little more than your time and perhaps a long distance phone call and are a great way of getting media exposure. Getting book reviews requires submitting a review copy or sample of the book and can involve additional costs like shipping and handling. Offering free filler material is another way to get print space with little cost other than your time and talent. Letters to the editor are another unique way to gain exposure, however they do not allow a by-line or blatant promotional content. Therefore authors that choose this avenue need to include the key information in the body of the piece in a subtle manner. 

To be continued...
 



  Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well! 
 


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Used oil and its effects on the environment




-- Used oil and its effects on the environment --

 * Today's article was written by: Greg Chapman of Greg Chapman Motors - a knowledgeable and leading provider of used cars, trucks, and SUV’s. Since 1959, Chapman Motors has supplied reliable used cars in Austin and the surrounding. For more information please visit www.gregchapmanmotors.com.

 
Motor oil leaked from individual vehicles—or outright dumped by homeowners and commercial garages inevitably finds its way into local water bodies. Topsoil and natural vegetation would ordinarily filter many of these pollutants out, but the impermeable pavement that covers much of the surface where these pollutants originate carries it right into storm drains and into streams, rivers, lakes and the ocean where it can poison marine life—which we might eat—as well as entire riparian or coastal ecosystems.

This pollution also finds its way into underground aquifers that supply our drinking water, so reducing it is a human health measure and could also save municipalities millions of dollars a year in drinking water treatment facilities and operational expenses.

While government agencies try to craft and implement development and zoning standards to help reduce storm water runoff problems caused by commercial and industrial entities, there is still much that individuals can do to reduce their impact as well. Indeed, upwards of 40 percent of oil pollution in the U.S. comes from the improper disposal of used motor oil by individuals.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of used oil is as follows: Used oil is any oil that has been refined from crude oil or any synthetic oil that has been used and as a result of such use is contaminated by physical or chemical impurities. Simply put, used oil is exactly what its name implies—any petroleum-based or synthetic oil that has been used. During normal use, impurities such as dirt, metal scrapings, water, or chemicals can get mixed in with the oil, so that in time the oil no longer performs well. Eventually, this used oil must be replaced with virgin or re-refined oil to do the job at hand EPA's used oil management standards include a three-pronged approach to determine if a substance meets the definition of used oil. To meet EPA's definition of used oil, a substance must meet each of the following three criteria:

1. Origin — the first criterion for identifying used oil is based on the origin of the oil. Used oil must have been refined from crude oil or made from synthetic materials. Animal and vegetable oils are excluded from EPA's definition of used oil.

2. Use — the second criterion is based on whether and how the oil is used. Oils used as lubricants, hydraulic fluids, heat transfer fluids, buoyants, and for other similar purposes are considered used oil. Unused oil such as bottom clean-out waste from virgin fuel oil storage tanks or virgin fuel oil recovered from a spill, do not meet EPA's definition of used oil because these oils have never been "used." EPA's definition also excludes products used as cleaning agents or solely for their solvent properties, as well as certain petroleum-derived products like antifreeze and kerosene.

3. Contaminants — the third criterion is based on whether or not the oil is contaminated with either physical or chemical impurities. In other words, to meet EPA's definition, used oil must become contaminated as a result of being used. This aspect of EPA's definition includes residues and contaminants generated from handling, storing, and processing used oil. Physical contaminants could include metal shavings, sawdust, or dirt. Chemical contaminants could include solvents, halogens, or saltwater.

Once oil has been used, it can be collected, recycled, and used over and over again. An estimated 380 million gallons of used oil are recycled each year. Recycled used oil can sometimes be used again for the same job or can take on a completely different task. For example, used motor oil can be re-refined and sold at the store as motor oil or processed for furnace fuel oil. Aluminum rolling oils also can be filtered on site and used over again.
Recycling Used Oil Is Good for the Environment and the Economy :

• Re-refining used oil takes only about one-third the energy of refining crude oil to lubricant quality.

• It takes 42 gallons of crude oil, but only one gallon of used oil, to produce 2 ½ quarts of new, high-quality lubricating oil.

• One gallon of used oil processed for fuel contains about 140,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) of energy.
To prevent your own oil leaks and spills, take the following into consideration:

• Take steps to prevent leaks and spills. Keep machinery, equipment containers, and tanks in good working condition and be careful when transferring used oil. Have absorbent materials available on site.

• If a spill or leak occurs, stop the oil from flowing at the source. If a leak from a container or tank can’t be stopped, put the oil in another holding container or tank.

• Contain spilled oil. For example, containment can be accomplished by erecting absorbent berms or by spreading an absorbent over the oil 

• Clean up the oil and recycle the used oil as you would have before it was spilled. If recycling is not possible, you first must make sure the used oil is not a hazardous waste and dispose of it appropriately. All used cleanup materials, from rags to absorbent booms, that contain free-flowing used oil also must be handled according to the used oil management standards. Remember, all leaked and spilled oil collected during cleanup must be handled as used oil. If you are a used oil handler, you should become familiar with these cleanup methods. They may also be part of a spill response action plan.

•Remove, repair, or replace the defective tank or container immediately.

By taking care not to contribute to the problem of used oil being improperly disposed of, you can help maintain our clean and healthy drinking water for years to come.




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