Reducing dependency beyond driving less

Posted on November 20, 2008. Filed under: Peak Oil & the End of Cheap Fossil Fuel |


From blog reader Jayme H. Simões:

Many Americans are wondering what they can do to help the United States to reduce its dependency on foreign oil. The obvious first step is to drive less and turn the thermostat down. But, there are other simple ways that every American can make painless choices that reduce our nation’s dependency on Middle Eastern petroleum.

According to the Chlorophiles Group, plastic manufacturing accounts for more than 4% of world crude oil use. That does not include the energy involved in transporting making plastic from crude-based raw materials.

Here are four simple choices we can make everyday to reduce our dependency on foreign oil and build a stronger America:

1. Pick Paper, not Plastic. We have a choice at the grocery store: a paper bag made from pulp produced in North American, or a plastic bag, possibly based on foreign petroleum. Not only is the paper bag better for the environment, but it helps keep jobs and resources in or country. So, the next time you go shopping, ask for paper.

2. Bottle it! Buy your juices, soft drinks, and beer in cans, glass bottles, or paper cartons, but not plastic. Everybody knows that beer, juice and even milk tastes better in glass. Why support foreign oil producers by buying beverages in a plastic container? Aluminum cans, paper cartons, and glass bottles are made with resources found right here at home. They’re easy to recycle, and help support American industry and jobs. Just say no to plastic bottles.

3. Put a Cork in it! Many Americans are wondering about the plastic corks that they are pulling out of some wines. Their effect on wine over the long term is unknown. And, with no program to recycle them, environmentalists can only imagine the effect of millions of plastic corks in America’s landfills each year. Natural oak corks, meanwhile, breakdown quickly and harmlessly. So, look for a natural cork, and reject any wine or champagne sealed with plastic.

4. Get Together. Next time, you are headed out shopping, going on errand, or heading into town, call a friend, neighbor or co-worker and offer them a ride. The more we share rides, the fewer cars on the road, and the less oil burned. And by spending more time with people and not alone in cars, the stronger our communities will become. At a time of national crisis we need to refocus ourselves on our communities, for there is power in unity.

There are many other things we can all do, but by simply making a choice to use less of petroleum–based products and burning less fuels we can do our part to help our nation find success on the road ahead.

Thanks for the thoughts, Jayme!

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    A statewide nonprofit dedicated to promoting economically and environmentally sustainable energy policies and practices in Wisconsin.

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