I wanted to get y'all's opinion on something that I was thinking about as I was driving home. I was sitting at a stoplight next to a car running (quite proudly given the number of bumper-stickers) biodiesel. This is rather common in Seattle as there are several biofueling stations in the area. In fact, we were considering buying a diesel vehicle to replace one of our Honda's a few years back.
What I was thinking was about what we were reading in Omnivore's Dilemma regarding how much oil was involved in growing the corn (or soy) and the manufacturing of biodiesel. At least one person commented on how the amount of oil required to produce one gallon of biodiesel was so high that we might as well just burn the gasoline directly.
This led me to ruminate about how the local biofueling stations acquire their biodiesel. I don't know if they go through the trouble of getting spent oil from restaurants or how they get it. I know that the local Safeway is installing a biofueling station and I suspect that maybe they are getting the biofuel from processing the spent oil from the Safeway bakeries and delis in the areas, but I'm just making it up at this point.
So, I'm thinking that a biodiesel car isn't such a hot idea and that a hybrid car in the future would be better or, if they ever get off the ground and are more available, an electric car since we can charge the batteries using our wind/hydro energy.
I know you all can argue that I should just get rid of the cars altogether and, for the most part, I could agree with you there. We really could easily eliminate one vehicle as we don't really use it, but it's paid off, has low miles and it's nice to have around just in case we need it. My husband takes the bus to work as I did before we had kids. Once both kids are in elementary school (within walking distance) it's quite plausible we could easily live without cars, but more likely we'll pare down to one car.
And here comes the more imminent quandary - while I was digesting all of this (the stoplight wasn't really that long, it's just that my mind tends to race), I thought of the BioHeat that we buy for our oil furnace. It's a blend of traditional oil fuel and biodiesel. I have no idea what the source of the biofuel for that is and I suspect if I called and asked they may not know either. But if it takes more oil to produce the same burning "amount" of BioHeat, isn't it just better to buy the oil directly? Am I spending extra money on BioHeat and doing more harm than good? I know it burns cleaner, but somewhere along the way, I'm sure other pollution was produced in the manufacturing.
Help! What do you think?