Need A Cheap Way To Heat Your Home This Winter? You Can Make Your Own Biodiesel Fuel

Posted by on Jan 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Need A Cheap Way To Heat Your Home This Winter? You Can Make Your Own Biodiesel Fuel

If you’re tired of choosing between high winter heating bills and bundling up in a hat and gloves for a trip to the restroom, you may be investigating some cheaper sources of heat for your home. Unfortunately, many of the systems with the lowest ongoing costs (like exterior wood stoves and geothermal heat pumps) are expensive to install, and you may find it easier to pay a high utility bill each month than shell out thousands (or tens of thousands) for a new heating system. However, if your home is currently being heated by an oil-burning furnace, you may be able to inexpensively manufacture your own biodiesel from recycled cooking oil and begin using it in place of your crude-based heating oil. Read on to learn more about making your own clean-burning, inexpensive fuel.  How can you get the oil used to make biodiesel? Biodiesel has few ingredients — just vegetable oil, an alcohol (like ethanol or methanol) and lye. During the conversion process, caustic lye is used to break up the triglyceride chains of each vegetable oil molecule. After the glycerin created from this process is drained off, you’ll be left with pure biodiesel. You should be able to purchase both the lye and methanol at a home supply store, along with the containers and tubing you’ll need to set up your brewing lab. While vegetable oil can be much less expensive than heating oil, unless you run a restaurant or other business that generates a great deal of waste oil, you may not have easy access to all the fuel you’ll need to get started. You may also be reluctant to buy fresh vegetable oil for this conversion process, especially when using waste oil can allow you to make your own biodiesel for around 80 cents per gallon.  However, many fast-food restaurants already pay a weekly or monthly fee to recycle their old cooking oil. In many cases, you may be able to come to a win-win agreement with area restaurant owners — you’ll take a portion of their waste oil off their hands without charging a fee, and they’ll save money on recycling costs. To do this, you’ll just need a pickup truck and a large plastic or PVC holding container to transport this oil back to your home. You can also reach out to an oil recycling and grease collection company like Tierra Environmental & Industrial Services to see if they have any advice for collecting old oil. What will you need to do to begin brewing?  You’ll first need to filter out any food particles or other debris from your waste oil to ensure the final product is as pure as possible. This can usually be accomplished with a simple mesh strainer attached to the lid of the holding container. If this oil still looks cloudy (which can indicate small particles floating around), let it sit overnight to see if this sediment will settle to the bottom, allowing you to drain off the clear oil. You’ll then need a large plastic or steel holding tank for your oil and a smaller tank for the methanol and lye mixture. While plastic tanks can be purchased at a relatively low price, some enterprising homeowners have even been able to convert an old hot water heater for this purpose.  You’ll then want to...

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How Can Business Owners Take Advantage Of Low Oil Prices?

Posted by on Oct 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Can Business Owners Take Advantage Of Low Oil Prices?

With the price of crude oil recently hitting an extended slump, you may be wondering whether there is anything you can do as a business owner to take advantage of these low prices both now and in the future. Indeed, high oil costs can impact a variety of prices– you’ll pay more for gasoline, utilities, and crude-based products (like plastic and tires); your profits may suffer, as residents avoid spending money at your business to help offset their higher gas budget; and your business taxes may even increase to help cover increased public paving costs. Fortunately, there are ways to take advantage of low oil prices that will set your business up for financial success when the price of crude oil inevitably rises. Read on for three ways you can profit from temporarily low oil prices.  Investment in oil stocks Most U.S.-based and foreign oil and gas exploration, processing, and sale companies have had their stock values suffer over the last several months of turbulent market activity. As the investment tycoon Warren Buffet has said, a wise investor should “be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” While you won’t want to place short-term capital needs in a potentially volatile stock fund, you may opt to invest long-term capital (or mortgage existing property if you can easily cover the costs through cash flow) in oil stocks. Having dividends reinvested as the stock prices begin to creep up, and selling the stocks once prices have hit a peak (or continuing to hold them as part of a long-term investment strategy) can help you reap major rewards over a fairly brief investment time frame. To help manage risk, you may want to avoid putting all your investment funds into a single basket. You may want to purchase several shares each of a number of different oil stocks, rather than a large number of shares of a single stock. To keep transaction fees to a minimum, you could also opt to invest all your funds into an energy-sector index fund that will allow you to purchase “slices” of a wide variety of energy stocks. This can minimize any damage from a single company’s bankruptcy or turbulent profit-to-loss ratios while still allowing you to benefit from the growth of the sector as a whole. Oil and gas exploration partnership For those with a significant amount of money to invest, an oil and gas exploration partnership could be a lucrative choice. During times of oil oversupply, many exploration companies engage in mass layoffs to help cut costs and keep the business afloat until the market becomes less saturated. This economic tension can provide the perfect buying opportunity for a savvy investor. If you’re planning to go this route, you’ll likely want to engage the services of an investment adviser who can help you evaluate the companies or individuals with whom you’re interested in forging a partnership. Your adviser will be able to analyze the financials of these businesses to let you know whether your choice will be a wise decision and when you’ll begin seeing profits. Paving project If you’ve needed to repave your asphalt parking lot for years, there’s no better time than the off-season during a period of low crude prices. While contractors are frequently booked from spring through the...

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3 Courses To Supplement Your Hazwoper Certification

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Courses To Supplement Your Hazwoper Certification

If you are required to acquire hazwoper certification for you job, it is likely that your employer will select and pay for your course. However, if you get your hazwoper certification on your own in order to improve your chances of getting hired in a job that deals with hazardous materials or to volunteer in situations where hazardous materials may be present, there are several other courses that you should consider as well. The following three courses complement the material that you will learn in either a 24-hour or 40-hour hazwoper certification course and will better prepare you to handle emergencies that may happen around hazardous material sites. Medical First Responder or Wilderness First Responder  While a hazwoper course will train you to identify and handle hazardous waste, its main focus will be on hazardous materials and your personal protection. You will need additional training to help others in the event of an accident or emergency involving hazardous waste. Both courses on medical first responder and wilderness first responder focus on assessing and dealing with medical emergencies when you are the first person on the scene, and it is likely that medical care may be delayed. Although there should be medical professionals available on most hazardous work sites, it can improve your chances of getting hired if you can show that you can recognize medical emergencies and are trained to act appropriately during an emergency. Being trained in either of these courses also increases your usefulness as a volunteer in emergency situations.  If you have EMT training or other advanced medical training, you probably do not need an additional first responder training. Instead, you might focus on a more general emergency training. Community Emergency Response Team Any training that focuses on identifying an emergency situation and responding appropriately can be a useful training to have when you are working with hazardous materials. This type of training, even if it does not deal directly with hazardous waste, gives you more practice dealing with high-risk situations and communicating with a clear chain of command. It can show prospective employers that you have a greater awareness of handling high-risk and emergency situations and that you care about your improvement as an employee.  Furthermore, a community emergency training combined with hazwoper training will give you the experience necessary to help your local community if there is an emergency involving hazardous waste or biological chemicals.  Bio-terrorism, Chemical or Radiation Emergency, and Mass Casualty Training  Any emergency training recommended by the CDC can help pad your resume and give you greater confidence when working in a high-risk situation with hazardous materials. These trainings can help prepare you for your hazwoper certification and help you get the most out of your hazwoper class by giving you a general overview of various emergency situations. Additionally, they can help prepare you for working with a variety of people and acting as a volunteer in case an emergency happens when you least expect it.  Although you will probably not use this type of training at your work, having it may make you seem more trustworthy and like a greater asset to potential employers.  If you will be working with hazardous materials, the most important certification that you can get is a general hazwoper certification. However, it is also important that you...

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2 Reasons The Roll-Off Dumpsters At Your Construction Site Stinks, And How To Fix Them

Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Reasons The Roll-Off Dumpsters At Your Construction Site Stinks, And How To Fix Them

Does your construction company toss all the unused remnants of building materials into a roll-off dumpster? Do you notice stinky odors coming from the dumpster, even though it’s not used for any kind of food or household waste? If so, you’ve likely got one of the below 2 problems on your hands.  Your Dumpster Is Getting Visitors There are dishonest people out there who don’t want to pay for their own trash removal, so they go ahead and stick it in somebody else’s trash bin. If that bin happens to be at your construction site, and if that personal garbage happens to be food or household waste, there’s a good chance you’ll experience some foul odors before the roll-off truck comes and hauls the dumpster away. If somebody has dumped their household trash in your rented construction site dumpster, simply because it was accessible, it’s considered theft-of-services and punishable by law. To deter trash dumpers, hang a sign near the dumpster informing the public that using a dumpster without permission is illegal and that you will seek legal action should they choose to do so. A motion-sensitive camera may be necessary to actually catch a culprit in the act, but a dummy-camera is far cheaper and will likely create enough question in the dumper’s mind to deter them from using your bin for their garbage. You can also ask your roll-off dumpster rental company if they have a locking tarp cover that fits your bin. While not foolproof (the tarp could be cut by a really determined dumper), the culprit will probably just move on and find an easier dump site for his or her waste when encountered with such an obstacle. Of course, not all people who throw perishables into your construction site dumpster have ill intent. How accessible is your dumpster to passers-by?  If it’s sitting close to the street, there is a chance that people walking by think it’s actually there for them to toss out the occasional candy bar wrapper or half-empty soda can. When enough people decide to use your bin for their little bit of waste, it can accumulate to a lot of trash and a few stinky smells. If you think your dumpster smells might be the result of lots of people throwing out a little bit of garbage rather than a frequent, blatant theft-of-services by a select few individuals, then placing a small, basket-style bin next to your roll-off with a “place trash here” sign might be all you need. You can change the small bin frequently, and return it to the local waste facility yourself, or ask your municipal to pick up the duty when they tend to other public trash receptacles. You could also try simply moving your dumpster a bit more toward the center of the property so passers-by get the hint that it’s not for public use. Your Dumpster Has An Insect Or Rodent Infestation Why would rodents or bugs want anything to do with a non-food containing dumpster? Well, the dumpster’s contents isn’t non-food to them. A lot of insect quite enjoy munching on wood, drywall, or even glue; and most rodents would be happy to take any insulation or cardboard you don’t need and use it to build their nest. If your roll-off dumpster is infested with...

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