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Jan. 23, 2020
This paid piece is sponsored by POET.
For many of us, January is a time to take inventory of our lives, re-examine old habits and set a plan to better ourselves for the future. Many times, these goals focus on improving our health, growing our relationships or advancing our careers. What if this year you choose instead to make a resolution that could better not only yourself but also the world?
At POET, working to change the world for the better has been the company’s driving mission for the past 30 years.
“Our mission is to be good stewards of the Earth by converting renewable resources to biofuels and bioproducts and, by doing so, replacing our dangerous reliance on fossil fuels,” said Jeff Broin, POET founder and CEO.
“Every year, we become more efficient in our use of raw materials, energy and water, and develop new and innovative ways to produce clean fuels for the world. As the threat of climate change looms over us, we know our mission is more important today than ever before.”
These small efficiencies have big impacts, especially given POET’s huge footprint in the Midwest and throughout the world. Since 2005, POET has reduced its annual energy use per gallon by 18 percent all while producing 2 billion gallons of ethanol each year. Water consumption also has decreased by 20 percent per gallon of ethanol since 2007.
“We’re constantly working on developing and deploying industry-leading technologies,” said Dave Bushong, senior vice president of research at POET. “Our researchers have jump-started the global transformation to a greener economy.”
Continued improvement of the ethanol process at bioprocessing plants is only the start of POET’s environmental stewardship. By displacing harmful additives in gasoline, renewable clean-burning biofuels like ethanol cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars by up to 43 percent. POET’s producers also are working to help address climate change before the corn is even delivered to the plant by using sustainable agriculture practices.
These earth-friendly practices ensure farmers use less water and fewer chemicals while reducing runoff from their crops. Sub-subsistence farmers in Africa are implementing these same practices through POET’s nonprofit, Seeds of Change.
“By working together with our partners on the ground, farmers in Kenya and Uganda are learning how to apply simple but effective agricultural techniques. So far, more than 80,000 farmers have seen remarkable increases in their yields through better crop and soil management practices, and we’re moving into new areas to drive greater impact,” said Alicia ElMamouni, Seeds of Change director.
Now, POET wants to inspire others to join the movement to fight climate change by challenging them to shift to more sustainable habits.
“The start of a new year is the perfect time for people to set new goals for themselves, and these days those goals are often shared on social media,” said Autumn Bates, vice president of communications at POET. “With that in mind, POET is putting a spin on the traditional new year’s resolution in 2020 by asking our followers on social media to set ‘renewable resolutions’ for themselves and post about them. Whether it’s recycling, reducing their consumption of single-use plastics or choosing to fuel up with biofuels, we believe that every small change can play a part in the fight against climate change, and by using social media to talk about it, we can inspire each other to make more sustainable choices and stick to them.”
The campaign is already gaining some traction on social media with followers posting a wide range of ideas to decrease their environmental footprint:
How can you get involved? There are numerous available resources and ways to go green right here in Sioux Falls.
Here are POET’s top four tips to help you make a #RenewableResolution for 2020 and decrease your environmental footprint in the New Year:
Cut down on the amount of single-use plastics you consume.
Just like gasoline, most single-use plastics are made from fossil fuels, which wreak havoc on the environment. Demand for disposable plastics has grown, and with it comes an increase in plastics manufacturing. To produce disposable plastics, petroleum must be extracted from the earth, often leading to oil spills, groundwater pollution and chemical processing plants that emit a variety of pollutants into the air.
And it doesn’t stop there — many single-use plastics can’t be recycled. While it’s true you can recycle plastic bottles, tubs and jugs, things like straws, lids on to-go cups, takeout containers, plastic wrap and plastic cutlery can’t be recycled in Sioux Falls. What doesn’t get recycled ends up buried forever in the landfill or — worse yet — as litter strewn across the city.
Support our local farmers and business owners by buying products grown and made locally.
Whether it’s by frequenting your local co-op, farmers market, crop share program or checking out some of the locally owned businesses in Sioux Falls, supporting the local economy means your money goes to helping support families in our community.
Fill up with clean, renewable biofuel blends.
Biofuels like ethanol are made from plants grown in the USA and are approved for use in all vehicles made in 2001 and newer. As a bonus, biofuel blends are less expensive at the pump; E15 — also known as Unleaded 88 — is a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline that costs up to 10 cents less per gallon, and higher blends like E20 or E30 lead to even more cost savings. Not only will you be helping the Earth by reducing your vehicle’s greenhouse gas emissions and cutting airborne toxins caused by tailpipe emissions, you’ll also be saving money!
Retail locations in Sioux Falls offering E15 include Kum & Go, Holiday Stations and the two soon-to-be-opened Casey’s. Other retail locations in Sioux Falls offer E85 as well. Visit getbiofuel.com for a complete list.
Follow POET on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @POETbiofuels.
Follow POET on its social media channels or visit poet.com/sustainability to learn about the many ways POET is creating a greener world. Additionally, you can sign up for POET’s free quarterly magazine at vitalbypoet.com/subscribe to stay up-to-date on all things agriculture, biofuels and sustainability.
Join the movement and set a renewable resolution for yourself that can help change our world in 2020! As a bonus, POET will enter all who tweet their #RenewableResolution in a drawing to win a $100 Casey’s fuel card. To enter the giveaway, make sure you follow @POETbiofuels on Twitter and then tweet your 2020 goal to help the environment. Be sure to use the hashtag #RenewableResolution and tag @POETbiofuels to be eligible. The winner will be randomly selected and contacted Feb. 28.
Resolutions are all about working toward a better version of ourselves and our world. If we don’t all do our part to protect the environment, the future of our planet could be at stake. This year, join the people of POET in setting a goal to positively impact your life, your community and your world.
Have you made a #RenewableResolution yet? POET wants to know about it.