Putting the green in theme parks

Amusement and theme parks are getting greener these days

As consumers demand for green products increases, businesses of all kinds are jumping on the green bandwagon. So to are theme parks across the U.S. and around the world.

Many modern parks are boasting eco-friendly and sustainable features that can make you feel good about enjoying yourself.

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UK company promotes sustainability through "green oil"

Jatropha may be the perfect alternative renewable source of green oil

Jatropha may be the perfect alternative renewable source of green oil

As the current environmental disaster of unchecked oil spewing from a wrecked oil rig unfolds in the Gulf of Mexico, the importance of non-fossil fuel is growing exponentially.

UK-based Carbon Credited Farming PLC (CCF PLC), a green energy company, has been making headway with their worldwide focus on developing “green oil” from jatropha (juh tro’ fa) plants.

“Our goal and vision is to provide alternative renewable energy sources through a sustainable commercial framework that benefits everyone – from farmers to governments to end users – and benefits our environment with conservation and sustainable practices,” said Gregg Fryett, CEO of Carbon Credited Farming PLC.

To achieve this, CCF has been operating jatropha plantations in Thailand, Cambodia and Africa. Previously viewed as a poisonous weed, this drought-resistant plant is now seen by many as the perfect biodiesel plant with seeds containing a high percentage of usable oil.

Jatropha grows well in poor or infertile soil. It’s excellent at helping prevent soil erosion, giving some environmentalists hope as to its use for preventing desertification.

Jatropha fruit

Jatropha fruit

More than this, jatropha oil can be combusted as high quality biodiesel fuel without being refined, burns with a clear smoke-free flame and has already successfully tested as fuel for simple diesel engine.

CCF recognizes that the stakes for jatropha’s success are high. But the company takes its commitment to sustainability further. 

“We educate farmers in marginal communities on sustainable farming practices that can be used on all value crops,” said Fryett, “giving them the tools to gain long-term financial independence for their communities.”

It helps farmers raise their standard of living, said CCF spokesperson Lauren Chen.

The oil from jatropha seeds makes an excellent biodiesel

The oil from jatropha seeds makes an excellent biodiesel

Jatropha has definitely gained interest among automobile-related companies as a viable fuel alternative. Companies like Daimler have cultivated it in southern India. And Toyota Tsusho Corporation, parent company of Toyota Motor Corporation, has invested in jatropha to refine it as a biofuel.

“CCF is about long-term,” says Chen.

Expect to hear more about CCF and their carbon and energy credit programs in the near future. It’s a company making a difference.

New Generations – a better carbon neutral biofuel

Not all biofuels are alike.

new-generation-biofuels-logo-300x911New Generation Biofuels, a renewable fuels provider, offers commercial customers a biofuel with minimal CO2 emissions and more than 40% lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions than either diesel or biodiesel.

New Generations’ biofuel comes from a variety of feedstock – vegetable oil, animal fat and/or algae. With water and some proprietary ingredients added to the mix, it’s then blended. The result is a white milky substance with virtually no sulfur, which the company believes provides a lower cost, renewable, sustainable and fully biodegradable alternative energy source.

Originating in Italy, this amazing patent-pending technology has made its way to North America where, says New Generation Biofuels Chief Marketing Officer Phil Wallis,there are several perfect large markets.

“We go after the market with the (largest) need to reduce their emissions,” he said – power generation and the boiler markets. The latter includes institutions, hospitals, and schools.

Currently working with combustion turbines and boilers, Wallis says the biofuel combusts so well, one client – Cleaver Brooks, a leading manufacturer of commercial and industrial boilers – saw a 50% reduction of NOx.

new-generations-biofuels2-150x1111This biofuel has a small carbon footprint compared to alternative existing fuel oil or biodiesel, says Wallis. “Many of the alternatives out there – wind, solar, etc. – require equipment, which comes at a cost.”  No extra equipment is necessary to make the switch to New Generations’ biofuel, Wallis said.

All that’s required is to clean the tank, tune the boiler to this kind of fuel mix (which takes about 1½ hours to do), then put the white liquid in.

“it’s as easy as changing your light bulbs.” Wallis said. This low cost alternative is “a low-hanging fruit for boilers,” he said.

Biodiesel with Your Turkey?

In a somewhat whimsical and innovative move, San Francisco is encouraging Thanksgiving feasters to recycle Thanksgiving turkey drippings by putting it into jars and taking them to local supermarkets like Costco and Whole Foods stores. These will then be collected and processed into biodiesel and methane to fuel city vehicles and create electricity.
San Francisco – a town rapidly gaining a reputation for innovation, conservation and things “green”, has been collecting and storing grease from 500 local restaurants since November 2007. A company will be selected shortly to turn this yellow “gold” into high quality biodiesel to run up to 1,600 of the city’s diesel vehicles.
According to a city spokesperson, the city will break ground in February 2009 for it’s own biodiesel production plant at a city sewage treatment plant.

The California Energy Commission is helping fund the city’s biodiesel program with a $1 million grant, along with funding from the EPA.

Just another way to cut calories and help the environment.