Grease is the Word

The national Clean Cities program has a lot to be thankful for this year. Through the efforts of its stakeholders and local coalitions, including our very own Tucson, AZ Clean Cities, the national program reached a major milestone in 2013 – 1 billion gallons of fuel saved! By encouraging the adoption of alternative fuels, such as electricity and biodiesel, the nationwide program prevented 7.5 million tons of greenhouse gases from being produced in 2013. This accomplishment helps to advance the nation’s economic, environmental, and energy security. It’s not only a major accomplishment but truly something to celebrate.

Just a little background: In 1993, the U.S. Department of Energy launched Clean Cities to reduce dependence on petroleum in transportation throughout the nation. In the two decades since, the program has saved a total of 6.4 billion gallons. Each year brings greater savings – from 15 million gallons in its first year to 1 billion gallons in 2013. The program is gearing up to save 2.5 billion gallons per year by 2020.

Here in Pima County, our local Clean Cities program at Pima Association of Governments is working hard to make alternative fuels and vehicles more accessible to all of us. From the installation of new electric vehicle fast chargers to growing fleets of alternative fuel vehicles, we have come a long way.

turkey-jpldesignsHow can you help? Save your leftover grease! Used cooking grease can be recycled into biodiesel. With Thanksgiving coming up, many of us will be left with a substantial amount of grease. Whether you are deep-frying a turkey or preparing other rich dishes, remember to put your grease aside for recycling. And please remember that pouring grease down the drain is a really bad idea. Grease will clog your drains, can cause actual sewer backups and result in costly repairs. It’s so much easier to just save it for recycling.

Please plan to join Tucson’s  AZ Clean Cities and Pima County for the 10th annual Day-After-Thanksgiving Grease Collection Event on Friday, Nov. 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Click here for all locations.

Make it a part of your family tradition. Feel good by doing good!