Prince Charles’ cooking fat

September 9, 2010 at 4:34 pm Leave a comment

Prince Charles boarding his green train

Prince Charles is on a mission.   

No there isn’t some vulgar building on the horizon. All his vegetables are organic, don’t panic.

This week he is promoting a “sustainability revolution”. This week Charles will be steaming cross-country in the royal train, which has recently been converted to run on cooking fat. The suppliers of this green innovation estimate that it emits just one-eighth of the carbon dioxide of oil-based diesel. During his campaign, dubbed ‘Start’, he is expected to highlight the benefits of re-usable nappies, ‘staycations’ and European holidays by train.

I am all for travelling by train where possible and have made 2010 a no flying year. I recently returned from a holiday in Germany where I got there by train. I took seven trains, arriving 15 hours later at my destination. It was an environmental choice — one that was hard to organise and more expensive than flying Ryan air. But I would definitely do it again — I saw a lot of different parts of Germany that I wouldn’t if I had just flown. 

Although Charles has his critics he is definitely onto something. It is clear that the use of cooking oil as a fuel is a viable alternative in many contexts, that will impact positively on the UKs environmental credentials.  A shining example of this is the Waste Oil Recycling Project (WORP). Based at HMP Ford, WORP has developed a production system that converts used cooking oils in prisons into biodiesel. The biodiesel can then be used as a fuel source for prison vehicles and other equipment, reducing the carbon emissions, waste and costs of the prison estate.

At the same time, the project is equipping prisoners with qualifications in safe production of biodiesel. In this way, the project is helping prisoners out of the re-offending cycle as well as growing their understanding of waste and energy. Surplus fuel is also to be sold to fund further training and development. 

To read more about WORP see here, and to read more about Prince Charles’ Start campaign, see here.

By Sophie Byrne


Entry filed under: Green Next Practice, Public Services, Third Sector Innovation, Uncategorized.

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