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New Eco-friendly Lubricants: EcoSheep

A squeak in his bike chain turned into an eco-friendly lubricant sold in Walmart


In 2015, Samuel Hopkins had a squeak in his bike chain that wouldn't go away.

Determined to fix it, the avid biker and outdoorsman bought a collection of different chain lubricant products and greased up his bike — only to realize rainwater would wash the petroleum-based residue directly into the local pond.

"There's 186 million bikes in the U.S., and it takes six million gallons of petroleum oil every year (to lubricate them)," Hopkins, a Pittsburgh-area resident, said. "It's one of the biggest oil spills in America, every year."

A longtime inventor with more than 40 patents to his name, Hopkins happened to have lanolin — oil secreted from sheep's wool, often used in cosmetics — in his workshop for another project, and found it stopped the squeaking. He quickly got to work developing EcoSheep, a line of eco-friendly bicycle lubricants that he produced at home and sold …

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