When most car owners buy motor oil, their focus is on making sure they purchase oil that meets American Petroleum Institute standards and that will keep their vehicles functioning optimally. Though API standards certainly are an important consideration for those making a decision about motor oil, there are other factors that must make it into the equation.
The human race has a nasty habit of depleting important natural resources, including fossil fuels. While we’re still in the midst of a quest for more energy efficient fuel sources like electricity and solar power, we’ve already been able to develop a solution for the mass consumption of motor oil. It is not an oft-considered fact that motor oil doesn’t wear out. Motor oil does get dirty and needs re-refining, but it’s totally recyclable.
Currently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 200 million gallons of motor oil are illegally dumped every year. This improper dumping can cause a layer of scum to form atop bodies of water, stopping sunlight and oxygen from penetrating the water and causing the deaths of fish, frogs, plants, and other forms of aquatic life.
Already, re-refined motor oil has become one of the more popular motor oil types in Europe where about half of all motor oil is recycled. In the U.S., on the other hand, only 10-15% of motor oil has been recycled. The EPA estimates that 2 gallons of properly recycled used oil is enough to run the electricity of an average home for a full 24 hours.
The best way to increase the popularity of re-refined motor oil is to be careful to buy motor oil which has been recycled. It is important to note that the American Petroleum Institute does certify re-refined motor oils, so it’s completely possible and highly recommended that you buy motor oil that is both API certified and re-refined. To determine if motor oil has passed API tests, look for the starburst and donut symbols on the bottle.
Making a difference for our environment can be as easy as making the choice to buy motor oil that’s been recycled. Next time you change your oil or take your car in for an oil change, be sure to ask for eco-friendly, re-refined oil. It’s just as good for your car and even better for the Earth.