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What We can Do To reduce Petroleum Use

As Quakers we try to stay our lives in harmony with our values and with the historic Quaker testimonies. It may be fairly easy to think of actions we can take to extend the amount of peace and simplicity in our lives and the lives of those round us. A more difficult problem is to contemplate the oblique and hidden affects on the world of the things we purchase, whether of their production, use, or disposal. One product that all of us use is petroleum. It is one in all the commonest substances in virtually every buy we make. Petroleum is a product on which Quakers should consider reducing their dependence because it threatens the physical wellbeing of all life, as effectively as the ecological and political stability of our world.

Why Scale back Petroleum Consumption
There are health, environmental, and political causes to scale back petroleum consumption. Sources of well being dangers from petroleum include pesticides in food, nitrates in floor water from petroleum-based mostly fertilizers, chemicals leaching from plastics, and MTBE leaking from gasoline storage tanks. The problems of plastics include excessive pollution from production, toxic chemical publicity throughout use, hazards from fires, and their contribution to the world’s rising stable waste crisis. One class of chemicals used in plastic production, particularly PVC and vinyl, is named organochlorines, that are resistant to breakdown and can remain within the environment for decades to return. Scientific research reveal that these chemicals are linked to extreme and wide-spread health issues, including infertility, immune system harm, impaired childhood growth, hormone disruption, most cancers and many different harmful results. Environmental hazards of petroleum use include international climate change from burning petroleum products and oil spills that destroy natural habitats. Oil drilling is one among the primary reasons that rainforests world wide are being destroyed. The political effects of petroleum use include manipulation of world markets by governments and huge firms at the expense of the poorest world citizens, and the waging of battle in order to manage the worlds shrinking oil reserves.

How can we cut back petroleum consumption

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Step one in decreasing petroleum consumption is to grasp what products are made from petroleum. Petroleum turns up within the components checklist of more things than most individuals would possibly be aware of. Here is a partial checklist:

– Gasoline, Motor oil, kerosene, fuels, home heating oil
– Plastics (and artificial rubber)
– Paint, paint thinners, lacquers, solvents, floor cleaners, hair spray, printing inks, asphalt
– Petroleum (or paraffin) wax utilized in candy making, packaging, candles, crayons, matches, and polishes
– Petrolatum (petroleum jelly) used in medical merchandise and toiletries (lip gloss)
– Artificial fibers like polyester
– Fertilizers, pesticides
– Petroleum coke used as a raw material for a lot of carbon and graphite merchandise, including furnace electrodes and liners, and the anodes used in the manufacturing of aluminum
– Petroleum is used within the generation of electricity (from fossil gas energy plants), and in the transportation of products to market

As soon as our awareness has been raised as to the problem of petroleum use and the merchandise in which it is used, the answer does not appear all that easy. Since petroleum is immediately or indirectly involved in producing nearly the whole lot, nothing less than total simplification of our lives and buying much less of the whole lot is what’s required. The recycling slogan is brought to mind – “cut back, recycle, reuse”. We can start by reducing the quantity of power we use by driving less, carpooling, turning down our thermostat, turning invest crude oil commodity off lights when not in use, shopping for energy-environment friendly appliances, hanging laundry outdoors to dry, and so on. We should purchase food in bulk to scale back packaging, develop your own vegetables or purchase them at a local farmer’s market to reduce transportation, and buy natural food to cut back the amount of fertilizers and pesticides which are used. Search out simplification and recycling concepts on the library and on the internet, beginning with the hyperlinks included beneath.

Discover alternatives to petroleum merchandise
There at present exist many options to petroleum and petroleum-based products. Many vehicle producers are making electric or natural gasoline-powered automobiles. Several now have hybrid gas-electric automobiles which are marketed to common consumers. There also is a little bit-known various to diesel gasoline called invest crude oil commodity “bio-diesel”, which is made out of used vegetable oil and might be burned in diesel cars and in residence oil burners. Various power sources for dwelling heating and electricity technology exist, corresponding to photovoltaic, passive solar, wind turbines, and renewable fuels such as wood pellets and corn. Due to electrical deregulation, we can now select an electricity provider that provides “inexperienced” alternatives. Plastics may be made from substances aside from oil – like corn or the hemp plant. Analysis such products and encourage legislators to assist them. Here are some other concepts:

– Make a photo voltaic shower
– Use water-based mostly latex paints
– Search for products primarily based on bee’s wax or soy-based waxes
– Use glass, ceramic, metallic, and cloth containers instead of plastic
– Buy drinks that come in glass containers

Again, info on these alternate options and more can be found at your library and on the web. Perhaps you’ll be impressed to create a clearinghouse of petroleum-reducing ideas to your group.