Start With Why : Why I Start Belijelantah

Recently, I read a book ‘Start With Why’ by Simon Sinek. In short, the book give me life lesson that you should always have question WHY in your life, WHY you decide to do this, WHY you go there, WHY you choose this career path, WHY you live, etc. WHY is such a powerful question to dig deeper about everything. It’s human nature to surround ourselves with people who have similar WHY, so we can have TRUST each other. After WHY, you then move to HOW, then finally WHAT. Most people do it backward and it’s proven not effective, because as Sinek say, people don’t buy WHAT you do, people buy WHY you do it.

start with why

1 year ago, I start a social environment project named belijelantah (indonesia word of Buy Used Cooking Oil). In short, belijelantah is technology platform that will connect people who produces Used Cooking Oil (UCO) and biodiesel company. UCO is considered waste from citizens and after no longer used, UCO will be disposed through kitchen sink. However, it actually still has value, it contains triglyceride chemical, that can be converted into biofuel named biodiesel.

My reason for starting belijelantah is simple, I want to make system that leverage technology so I can help preserve environment. UCO, after it’s disposed through kitchen sink, will cause clogging in our water piping system, and eventually contaminate clean water in environment. If we can reprocess UCO, even becoming something as valuable as biodiesel, clean energy, it’s even better.

There are several challenges ahead for belijelantah.

First, in Indonesia, some UCO are collected by not-so-fine people and they will convert it into refined cooking oil (minyak curah) that is harmful for our health. It’s such a black market that we know exist but can’t stop it until now. So we have to compete with these people to collect UCO.

Second, it’s about citizen habit. People are customized to dispose their UCO into kitchen sink. So we need to think about ‘value preposition’ we give to them if they have to collect their UCO. My answer is we can give them extra income, or trade them with other goods, or support them with any means like marketing etc.

Third, how to leverage technology. It’s not easy to do this, but that doesn’t stop me from doing it. I have also found several genuine people that are willing to help me, and I am thankful for that.


This is the fact that scares me everytime I explain it.

We eat fried food everyday, fried chicken, french fries, gorengan, etc, and we know we need cooking oil to make those delicious food. After no longer used, used cooking oil (UCO) usually is disposed through kitchen sink, cause clogging in water piping system, and end up contaminate our water in environment. For every 1 liter UCO disposed, it will contaminate 1000 L water. Statistic shows that every person in average dispose 0.65 Liter UCO a month, realize it or not. You can imagine if one city has 10,000,000 citizen, it will dispose 6,500,000 liter UCO a month, contaminate 6,500,000,000 liter water in environment (river, lake, water piping system, etc). Sounds scary right ?

water contamination

The good news is, UCO still has value, it can be converted into clean fuel biodiesel. Biodiesel can be used as fuel for any diesel engine, for truck, pickup vehicles, heavy equipments, genset, etc. There are few biodiesel companies that we have partnership with that will be responsible to convert it into biodiesel. And they only accept big quantities at once so we need to collect it from various restaurants and household. small + small + small = big. It is also good to educate society about harm effect of UCO and opportunity to give them second life as Biodiesel.


Everyone will get benefit from this.

1. Restaurants and household will get extra-income since we will buy UCO from them with satisfying price.

2. Biodiesel companies will get its raw material supply.

3. Water environment will be saved since we prevent water contamination from UCO.

4. We will also support renewable energy development by producing biodiesel.

We had been doing pilot project by having website ( and for 2 months project (September-October 2017), we could collect more than 1,500 kg UCO, contribute to prevent 1,500,000 liter water contamination, and reduce 2,700 kg CO2 footprint by producing biodiesel to replace fossil diesel. If you want to collaborate with me, simply contact me through email

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