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Thousands of litres of cooking oil are used and disposed of every day in Cambodian kitchens – but it doesn’t have to be a waste. Naga Earth, a Siem Reap-based enterprise on a mission to protect the planet, has perfected the formula of turning dirty cooking oil into biodiesel, which can be used in the same way as regular diesel, including to run a motorbike or car.

And as if that magic is not impressive enough, the biodiesel is actually good for the machines it runs through, cleaning and lubricating on the way, with 90% less hydrocarbon and 50% less carbon dioxide emissions compared to regular fuel and zero sulphur emissions. Which is a whole lot better for the environment. It is non-toxic, non-flammable and safer to breathe.

Thalias is currently sending old cooking oil to Naga Earth, so naturally we thought it would be right to take the time and visit the plant, to see what other upcycling wonders they are engaged in. They didn’t let us down, with an array of environmentally-friendly soaps and other products made from recycled glass and plastic – two of the hospitality industry’s biggest waste products. They really are turning trash into treasure.

“They are on a very important mission to reduce the tourism and hospitality industries’ environmental footprint,” said Celine Troeung, the General Manager of the newly-established Khéma Angkor in Siem Reap. “With more and more people coming to visit Siem Reap and Cambodia every year, it is only natural that we would partner with Naga Earth. As one of the leaders in hospitality and fine dining in Cambodia we have to set an example for others to follow.”

Naga Earth accepts used cooking oil from all sources, and will even pick it up for free in Siem Reap. Less waste, cleaner fuel, good for engines. It’s a win-win-win.