How to Dispose of Cooking Oil - Environmentally
The last thing we need to worry about is our pipes and drains clogging up because we did not dispose of cooking oil in an environmentally friendly (eco-friendly) way. Disposing of used cooking oil incorrectly can lead to unnecessary frustration and stress later. Plus, as preppers, we need to find ways to prolong the usage and life of our equipment to outlast any SHTF scenario. Cooking oils are an essential part of any prepper pantry, and since you most definitely will have them stored up, we have made a list of some eco-friendly ways to dispose of cooking oils as well as DIY projects using cooking oils.
Creative ways to Dispose of Cooking Oils
1) Add Cooking Oil to Compost
Compost is essentially a natural fertilizer for plants. Since cooking oil is an organic material, it can be included in compost. However, when adding cooking oil to compost, it should be added in limited amounts to ensure the compost can absorb the oils, improving the overall composting process. Overdoing the amount added can lead to rot, attract pests, worsen the smell, and potentially ruin the compost. So, when adding cooking oil to compost, we should only add enough cooking oil that can be absorbed into the compost.
2) Give Leftover Cooking Oil to your Dog
Dogs love food just as much as people do. Adding leftover cooking grease to your dog’s food is not only an eco-friendly way of disposing of cooking oil, but it also makes their dog food more flavorful. Fats are high in calories and eating too much cooking oil can lead to negative health effects. However, dogs can eat fatty foods in moderation. Plus, they can burn off the extra calories from the boost in energy they get from eating oily foods.
3) Add Cooking Oil to a Bird Feeder
If you are cooking with saturated non-processed fats and oils, it can be added to a bird feeder in your home. Birds can benefit from the extra calories, and it is actually good for them to eat good fats and oils. However, they have trouble digesting processed oils with chemicals, so it is not recommended to feed them canola, sunflower, or any other type of processed cooking oil.
4) Find a Composting Service in your Community
There has been an increase in the number of communities that offer composting services. Talk to people in your community or give your local municipal office a jingle and ask about composting options. They may be able to pick up, not just your used up cooking oil, but other organic waste as well. Some communities offer composting drop-off locations, where you can deliver your compostable waste. If your community doesn’t provide any composting options, you can subscribe to a private recycling company to pick up the waste for a regular fee.
5) How to Dispose of Cooking Oil with Aluminum Foil
Using aluminum foil, you can form a cup-like shape inside of your drain, and once the cooking grease cools down, you can pour it into the aluminum foil. Then once the oil hardens, you can wrap up the foil, place it in a plastic bag or container, and discard it into a trash bag.
6) How to Dispose of Cooking Oil with Water-Absorbent Material
Cooking oil can be blended with liquid absorbent material (cat litter, sand, flour, etc.) and turned into a solid. Your pots and pans can be easily washed, and the waste material could then be discarded into the trash with the rest of your waste.
7) Find Local Farmers
Composting can be outsourced to local farmers. Ask around, as farmers already composting will happily take on additional organic waste to help improve their compost. And once you find that friendly farmer, you can work out an agreement to provide your stored up cooking grease and other organic waste regularly.
Other DIY uses for used Cooking Oil
Surprisingly, eco-friendly ways to dispose of cooking oil include DIY projects that can be done for prepper purposes or to teach kids valuable skills that can also be enjoyable. Cooking oils, but oils in general are a versatile material and can solve many problems a prepper may come across. And as preppers, we must learn to be crafty and make the most of our resources. Below, are some of our favorite uses of leftover cooking grease.
1) Make soap with used Cooking Oil
Running short on soap, have no fear as cooking oil can have a second life as bar soap. Since soaps are made from fats and oils you can use (ideally) unrefined saturated fats and cooking oils to turn them into a natural soap. To turn waste oil into useable soap, you will need caustic acid to clean the used cooking oil. To make the experience more enjoyable, you can experiment with essential oils and make scented candles in the process. For parents, this can be a fun exercise to teach children a valuable skill. For detailed instructions on how to turn used cooking oil into soap, check out this guide.
1) Make Weed Killer from used Cooking Oil
Running short on weed killer, have no fear as cooking oil can be repurposed to fight weeds in your garden. Homesteaders everywhere can relate to having unwanted weeds in their garden, taking up root space from the plants that matter. Using cooking oil to kill weeds is an eco-friendly option to help develop your garden. Plus, you are not exposing your garden to toxic chemicals that can affect the plants that matter. Spray a bit of the oil onto the weeds, and watch it shrink and shrivel away shortly thereafter.
2) Make Candles from used Cooking Oil
You can get creative with used cooking oil and make scented candles while also being environmentally conscious. Having a backup light source should be a requirement for preppers as the natural light source can help you perform night tasks if the power goes out in a SHTF scenario. As for parents, making candles and experimenting with essential oils of your choice can turn the experience into a fun DIY project for kids. For instructions on turning used cooking oil into a candle, you can use this guide.
How to Clean Cooking Oil Bottles
Since we are on the topic of eco-friendly uses of disposing of cooking oil, we should also consider ways of repurposing cooking oil bottles, as they can also experience a second life as well. Depending on the bottle type, they can have multiple uses that help you store other liquids or materials. However, if you intend to use bottles, simply using water will not remove the cooking oil from the bottle. As you may have heard the old expression, water and oil do not mix. Liquid absorbent material can be used to mix with the oil and make it into a dry and solid material that is can be washed out easily. Some ideas for liquid absorbent material are:
- Cat Litter
- Saw Dust
In summary, pouring used cooking oil down the drain or onto the ground are not the only options to dispose of waste oil. There are eco-friendly alternatives that can give used cooking oil a second life that can be useful for our prepper and homesteading needs. As preppers, we must make the most use of our resources so that we can outlast any scenario.