Finland has long been noted as a global leader when it comes to green energy, and now one firm is planning to transform Christmas dinner leftovers into clean, renewable power. Finnish families typically eat roast ham for their festive dish, with more than seven million kilograms of the meal consumed across the country annually.
The new 'Ham Trick' campaign will gather up the unused fat from the hams - taking donations directly from households - and transform it into diesel fuel at a refinery in Porvoo. Experts have predicted that even the fat from one ham joint can produce sufficient biodiesel to fuel two miles in a car.
The company behind the scheme, Kinkkutemppu, believes that the project is a world first and hopes that it will become normal to collect unwanted cooking fat and transform it into biodiesel. The firm is a non-profit organisation, and any income made from the project will be donated to a number of charities that support disadvantaged families and children.
Neste's sustainability VP explained that water supply plants are damaged every year by fat from cooking being poured down sinks. The same problem occurs in the UK, where fat poured down the drain solidifies and clogs up pipework and sewers.
By capturing the fat and transforming it at a refinery, it can be made into a valuable and clean energy source. The idea may be relatively small in scale, but it represents just another way in which creative thinking and innovation can be applied to help change the world's approach to energy production and the drive towards a sustainable economy. It is also a highly applicable idea which could easily be picked up in the UK and trialled here with similar benefits.