Baltidome Blog | Baltimore Green News


What You Can Do On A Daily Basis To Reduce Your Petroleum Consumption
March 8, 2011, 10:29 am
Filed under: Sustainable Living | Tags: ,

What You Can Do On A Daily Basis To Reduce Your Petroleum Consumption

Gasoline isn’t the only product made from crude oil.  Approximately ½ of each barrel of crude oil is used to make gasoline.  The rest is used as a partial ingredient to make other products such as: candles, lotion, shampoo, soap, makeup, detergent, toothpaste, perfume, crayons, and more.

So what can you do for maximum impact? Stop buying petroleum-based products besides gasoline -including PLASTIC.

Have you ever tried it -to go a day, a week without buying plastic?  Give it a shot and you’ll see that it is everywhere.  Giving up plastic seems impossible, but, before you give up hope, just know that it does not have to be that way.  Just a few decades ago most households had very little plastic.  According to the EPA, the amount of plastic in our waste system has increased 12 times what it was in 1970.  For a look back to a time where there was no plastic at all, check out the movie True Grit and take note of the stone and wood structures, wooden interiors, glass and metal containers, and natural clothing as an example of a plastic-free period in America.

Cotton Underwear In Paper Packaging From Target And Local Soap At A Baltimore Whole Foods

Buy Products With Less Packaging.
Packaging is the single largest product in the waste stream (eia.gov). It comprises more than a quarter of trash.  Look for products with paper packaging or no packaging at all, such as vegetables, soap, etc from the local Farmer’s Market.

Avoid Every Day Petroleum Based Household Products.
Substitutions with plant-based ingredients can be found at stores, but to make sure, read the ingredients in cosmetics, soaps, shampoo, touthpaste.  Avoid products with petroleum-derived ingredients such as: Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Paraffin, Microcrystalline Wax, Resorcinol

Stop Buying Plastic Altogether
It will be difficult at first.  Start at the grocery store.  Look for things in glass containers as opposed to plastic, bring your own shopping bag, and buy in bulk with your own containers.  Buy natural clothing and shop at antique stores and thrift stores for furniture and other household items.  Don’t get caught up with “green gadgets”.  Most are made of plastic and study by CIBC World Markets found that making consumers feel better about their shopping choices by offering “green” products produced one notable outcome: They bought more.

Would plastic reduction really make an impact on oil consumption?

The amount of plastic water bottles alone purchased each year by US consumers equals the same amount of oil it takes to fuel a million cars for twelve months. -National Geographic

14 plastic shopping bags equals the same amount it takes to drive a car for one mile.  The number of plastic bags used every 5 seconds in the US: 60,000.  -Planet Green

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