April 27, 2012

Breathe Easy. ~ Kara Grosse

Jesse Varner

Have you ever hiked up the Flatirons and appreciated the view of the horizon? And then noticed, undeniably, the brown cloud of smog sandwiched between the blue of the sky and the vast land expanse.

We are, unfortunately, within the region of the infamous Denver/Front Range smog cloud, that results to a high volume of vehicles, as well as factories, in Denver and the Front Range. The smog is created by a combination of pollutants such as carbon dioxide particulates, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide, and carbon monoxides.

Diesel fuel is one of the leading causes of these particulate emissions, which are directly attributed to cases of asthma, bronchitis, and even heart disease. With such a beautiful landscape and such healthy people in Colorado, it is counterintuitive to recognize that every breath we take is a threat to our health.

You may be aware of this problem, and try to help the air by riding your bike instead of drive a car, but inevitably, this seems like a problem that’s out of our control. But, the biodiesel company, ClearEcos, doesn’t think that cleaning the air is so far out of reach.

For every gallon burned of biodiesel, soot, created by diesel fuel, is decreased by 80%. That is why ClearEcos is substituting biodiesel for dirty diesel fuel in Boulder County.

This sustainable business collects used vegetable oils from restaurants all over the area. This used oil is then recycled and used as fuel for the Boulder County Municipal Fleet. Not only does ClearEcos provide our local fleet with sustainable, clean oil, but they create 100% biodegradable items from the biodiesel process.

The byproducts include all-purpose cleaners, and soaps. By creating biodegradable byproducts out of the biodiesel process, ClearEcos has established themselves as a zero waste facility. While these cleaners are a plus, the air that ClearEcos is already cleaning for you, free of charge, is a bigger plus.

The health detriments due to air pollution are grave. And although the area we live in is beautiful, we are constantly affected by the brown cloud, and our health is at risk. Air pollution is a localized event, and you have the ability to clean your own air.

Help support sustainable companies like ClearEcos, that is already supporting your lungs.


Editor: Lindsay Friedman


 Kara Grosse is a senior at CU and has been working for ClearEcos for four months. She is passionate about the environment, clean energy, and cleaning up pollution. After graduation, Kara is going to work for an environmental conservation agency on the St. Lawrence River to pursue her passion

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