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Ten Ways To Reduce our Dependence on Petroleum!

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America’s dependence on petroleum is great. We seem to love our cars and the freedom’s we feel that they give us. We complain about the rising costs of gas but seem unwilling to make the serious changes needed to cut our dependence on gas and other petroleum products. Before you think that this is just another opinion piece, telling you that you should start riding the bus or driving a more fuel efficient vehicle. It’s not. Well not entirely anyway. You see there are some other ways to help cut our dependency that has not been talked about much, if at all. I certainly haven’t seen them in print. So what are these ways? Here is my list:

  1. Turn back the thermostat by at least 2 degrees, this will help save on your gas bill which is reported to be going higher this winter, especially in the midwest where the projection is an increase of 71%. I personally plan to cut my use from a high of 69 degrees last year to 63 degrees, wearing more sleeves inside to help stay warm.
  2. Buy a more fuel efficient vehicle.
  3. Consider a moped, scooter or motorcycle for those lonely commutes to work, which is where most of us drive. Save the car for foul weather and drives with the family.
  4. Stop using plastic bags. The plastic bags at the grocery store, as all plastics, is largely a petroleum byproduct. Instead use paper, better yet use reusable cloth bags and take them to the store with you.
  5. Use public transportation or carpool.
  6. Walk or bicycle to work more. We need to exercise more and what a great way to the store for that 1 or 2 items, or to go to work.
  7. Recycle more. If we recycle more, then it will take less energy including gas to produce our pop cans and water bottles.
  8. Change your medicine and/or vitamins. If you are taking anything that comes in a capsule, it could be changed. The capsule is made from petroleum in part, so if you switched to a caplet or tablet you would be helping reduce your personal dependence on oil.
  9. Air dry your clothes.. Even if your dryer is electric, it takes gas to produce the electricity, so if you could eliminate your dryer all together.
  10. Use the paper sacks from the grocery store as trash sacks. Instead of buying plastic bags in your kitchen use those paper bags that you get from the grocery store in your trash can.

Ok, so that is ten ways, and I am sure there are others, take a look at the list of products made from petroleum and maybe you can think of some other ideas, provided by Beloit College – WHY DO WE NEED PETROLEUM?.

  • Ink
  • Dish washing liquids
  • Paint brushes
  • Telephones
  • Toys
  • Unbreakable dishes
  • Insecticides
  • Antiseptics
  • Dolls
  • Car sound insulation
  • Fishing lures
  • Deodorant
  • Tires
  • Motorcycle helmets
  • Linoleum
  • Sweaters
  • Tents
  • Refrigerator linings
  • Paint rollers
  • Floor wax
  • Shoes
  • Electrician’s tape
  • Plastic wood
  • Model cars
  • Glue
  • Roller-skate wheels
  • Trash bags
  • Soap dishes
  • Skis
  • Permanent press clothes
  • Hand lotion
  • Clothesline
  • Dyes
  • Soft contact lenses
  • Shampoo
  • Panty hose
  • Cameras
  • Food preservatives
  • Fishing rods
  • Oil filters
  • Combs
  • Transparent tape
  • Anesthetics
  • Upholstery
  • Dice
  • Disposable diapers
  • TV cabinets
  • Cassettes
  • Mops
  • Sports car bodies
  • Salad bowls
  • House paint
  • Purses
  • Electric blankets
  • Awnings
  • Ammonia
  • Dresses
  • Car battery cases
  • Safety glass
  • Hair curlers
  • Pajamas
  • Synthetic rubber
  • VCR tapes
  • Eyeglasses
  • Pillows
  • Vitamin capsules
  • Movie film
  • Ice chests
  • Candles
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Loudspeakers
  • Ice buckets
  • Boats
  • Ice cube trays
  • Credit cards
  • Fertilizers
  • Crayons
  • Insect repellent
  • Water pipes
  • Toilet seats
  • Caulking, Roofing shingles
  • Fishing boots
  • Life jackets
  • Balloons
  • Shower curtains
  • Garden hose
  • Golf balls
  • Curtains
  • Plywood adhesive
  • Umbrellas, Beach umbrellas
  • Detergents
  • Milk jugs
  • Rubber cement, Putty
  • Sun glasses
  • Faucet washers
  • Bandages
  • Tool racks
  • Antihistamines, Cold cream
  • Hair coloring
  • Nail polish
  • Slacks
  • Drinking cups
  • Guitar strings
  • False teeth
  • Yarn
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Toothpaste
  • Golf bags
  • Roofing
  • Tennis rackets
  • Toothbrushes
  • Perfume
  • Luggage
  • Wire insulation
  • Folding doors
  • Shoe polish
  • Fan belts
  • Ballpoint pens
  • Shower doors
  • Cortisone
  • Carpeting
  • Artificial turf
  • Heart valves
  • LP records
  • Lipstick
  • Artificial limbs
  • Hearing aids
  • Vaporizers
  • Aspirin
  • Shaving cream
  • Wading pools
  • Parachutes

and that’s the way I see it! and now for your thoughts…

Kevin Surbaugh, of Topeka, KS is editor at and is an ordained minister who spent 2 years with the ministry of Jesus People USA, which runs Cornerstone Festival in western IL and operates Grrr Records at its headquarters in Chicago, IL.
Edited: TT

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About Kansasman

  • Green Living

    It is just amazing how we, as Americans, consume way beyond our needs. In the wake of the worst oil spill and subsequent environmental disaster in US history, It is clear that we need to consume much less and utilize alternatives when ever possible!

  • UK Pet

    In the future petroleum will become of less and less importance. I love the investments currently being made in renewables such as wind & water because these are unlikely to run out! However in the meantime it’s staggering just how much which are tied to petroleum and oil producing countires know this, that’s why they have constantly tried to fustrating the development of renewable until now.

  • suja

    wow lets reduce useing petrolium products and we can save it for future generation