The most recent entry in The New York Times’s ongoing series on The Energy Challenge is a profile of Dan Crocker, a maple syrup harvester in Vermont. The harvest season has lost 3 days over the last 40 years, representing about 10% of the total harvest, driving home the impact global warming can have over Mr. Crocker’s business. Deciding to do his part to help combat global warming, Mr. Crocker has switched from fuel oil to used vegetable oil to run the sugar house, an energy intensive process of purifying the maple syrup.
However, this is also a business decision, since used vegetable oil actually retails for about $1 less than regular fuel oil. Mr. Crocker still needs fuel oil as backup since it is hard to ignite the vegetable oil, but with the help of a grant from the Agriculture Department’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, he has saved $4,000 is year on fuel costs. Which goes to show that going green can be both environmentally and economically friendly.
Image from The New York Times
Posted by Dahlia T.