Protecting Your Car And The Environment
The following article appeared in the AMSOIL Action News Dealer Magazine in March of 1994, a time when most companies were more worried about their bottom line than environmental impact.
When people think of oil pollution, they tend to think of the Exxon Valdez spilling its cargo on the coast of Alaska.
Unfortunately, oil pollution does not end on that beach. Millions of gallons of motor oil are also dumped into the environment each year.
It’s nothing to take lightly. The statistics regarding water polluted by oil indicate the severity of the problem: one quart of oil can produce a two-acre oil slick; one gallon can make 1,000,000 gallons of water too foul to drink; and a mixture of only 35 parts oil per million parts water kills fish. Waste oil finds its way into groundwater, lakes, landfills, sewers and treatment plants, where it can cause devastating problems for the earth and its inhabitants.
Recycling used oil, which is an established way to make an environmental impact, is currently receiving the most attention. The environmental advantages coupled with the positive economic ramifications of reusable oil make recycling an attractive and worthwhile venture.
Recycling programs organized by the Environmental Protection Agency and individual states have helped to reduce pollution, at least in some areas of the country, but they have so far been unable to control the problem alone. In Minnesota, for example, a report prepared by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency concludes that “the amount of DIY [do-it-your-selfer’s] used oil that is mismanaged is still significant enough to create problems.” 1
This failure can be partially attributed to insufficient public knowledge of facilities and inconveniently located facilities, both of which are problems that can be overcome. Recycling alone cannot be the most effective answer, however. Using other methods with recycling, a more comprehensive answer can be found that could eventually all but eliminate waste motor oil pollution.
As AMSOIL dealers and users are aware, AMSOIL Motor Oils are a part of this answer. In fact, AMSOIL welcomes the environmental movement and has done more for environmental concerns than any other oil company.
AMSOIL is also encouraged by President Clinton’s interest in the environment, demonstrated by his recent directive to the EPA ordering them to compose a list of “environmentally preferable products,” and welcome his efforts. The pains-taking work of finding answers for the ecology is time-consuming, but AMSOIL is convinced that the government and the market will soon latch on to our revolutionary ideas and solutions. AMSOIL is presently taking steps to make them more informed.
AMSOIL Motor Oil is recyclable and less toxic than petroleum-based oil. Its main environmental contribution, however, the extended drain interval, goes beyond the current environmental strategy. Extending drain intervals reduces the waste put into the environment by reducing oil use. This complements recycling by targeting a different facet of the problem.
It is easy to see why this is important. Manufacturers of ordinary petroleum motor oils usually recommend that oil be changed every 3,000 to 7,000 miles. Using AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oil, a vehicle can go 25,000 miles before the oil needs to be changed. With the TRIGARD system, oil drains can be virtually eliminated. 2
In real terms, this means a lot to the environment. 1.2 billion gallons of lubricating oil are used each year in vehicles and 240 million of these gallons are improperly discarded by DIYs. Suppose recycling reduced pollution by 99 percent to 2.4 million gallons. How much difference could AMSOIL make? Assuming 7,000 miles for a petroleum oil change and 25,000 miles for AMSOIL, conversion to AMSOIL could reduce oil use to 336 million gallons (all other factors being equal). Using the same improved recycling figure, pollution drops to 672,000 gallons per year, a savings of 72 percent (1,728,000 gallons) over recycling alone.
That’s a real difference. 3
SLS Associates Notes:
1 While recycling waste oil here in the Northeast is a little easier than it was 25 years ago, it still isn’t convenient. Some local cities and towns have an annual Hazardous Waste or Recycling Day but I don’t think it happens everywhere and it’s usually only once or twice a year.
2 The TRIGARD System promoted the use of By-Pass Filters and Oil Analysis that eliminated time or mileage based oil changes and used oil analysis to determine when the oil needed changing. While the TRIGARD System as such is no longer available, AMSOIL has significantly expanded the By-Pass Filter System line and Oil Analysis, meaning the concept is still available, just not by the TRIGARD name.
3 One thing that has changed significantly since this article was written is the number of people doing their own oil changes. In 1994 somewhere between 40% & 50% of people still did their own oil changes. Today, it is closer to 20%. The quick lube industry has significantly reduced the number of DIY oil changes. (It may also have reduced the quality of those oil changes.)