Many household lubricants are by-products of oil refinement. Refineries use a great deal of water. Generally speaking, it takes about a half gallon of water to refine one gallon of crude oil. Refineries are large users; even smaller refineries can consume over 400 million gallons of water per year. Drawing large amounts of water from a watershed adversely influences the water table and can diminish stream flows. Low flows can impact biodiversity and the health of our fish. Lanolin and beeswax are alternatives to common household lubricants.

BoatUS ANGLER: RecycledFish Stewardship Tips

Lanolin and Beeswax

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Lanolin and beeswax are alternatives to common household lubricants.

Beeswax can be used to lubricate metal screws and will lock threads in place.  Apply a liberal amount of beeswax to a set of threads and cinch the threads down.  Beeswax can also be used on nails and wood screws to assist in driving them in.

Also, try coating braid or super braid lines with beeswax prior to tying a knot.  It will help to cinch and lock the knot.

Lanolin can be used as a substitute for grease in applications where heat will not build up (such as in bearings) and is particularly effective where metal contacts metal.  If you don't have time to coat bolts with beeswax, lanolin is an excellent alternative.  Lanolin also works really well at preventing rust.

Why it is important to the fish:  Many household lubricants are by-products of oil refinement.  Refineries use a great deal of water. Generally speaking, it takes about a half gallon of water to refine one gallon of crude oil.  Refineries are large users; even smaller refineries can consume over 400 million gallons of water per year. Drawing large amounts of water from a watershed adversely influences the water table and can diminish stream flows.  Low flows can impact biodiversity and the health of our fish.

Granted, it may not have taken much water to produce the six-ounce can of household oil sitting out in the garage.  However, using beeswax or lanolin as an alternative to household lubricants represents a shift in thinking.  For better or for worse, products derived from oil dominate our lives.  When we use beeswax and lanolin, we are changing the way we think and acknowledging the fact that we do not need to use oil in every last nook and cranny that our lives occupy.

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