While we may never know who to blame for the discovery of petroleum, history states that the stuff has been running our lives for over 5000 years now. Although mostly evil, petroleum is actually a natural substance – it is the product of long dead plant and oceanic life that has been fossilized under layers of sediment. Pressure, heat and decomposing chemicals transformed the remnants into petroleum.
To get to it, we invasive humans actually have to drill through the earth. The geologists and scientist of yesteryear dubbed the rock-oil highly valuable and began cooking up ways in which to use it, and boy did they find a ton of them. Petroleum is used in almost every part of our lives – it is one of the top influencers of our industrialized society and it pretty much inspired the chemical dependent world that we currently live in.
It has been estimated that we use a staggering 90 million barrels of petroleum everyday. The over-extraction and over-use of rock-oil has damaged the earth’s biosphere, negatively altered the climate and polluted the air, land and water. Byproduct of petroleum have been linked to a host of different diseases and disorders such as cancer, allergies, endocrine disorders and birth defects.
However, there is a silver lining in all of the petroleum abuse – that is, the talk of depletion. Petroleum is a controversial topic to say the least; some folks believe that we are getting close to tapping out while others claim that we have enough petroleum to last a lifetime. Nevertheless, the rise and fall of gas prices and the growing awareness of its negativity has inspired concern. And, the concern has inspired the search for cleaner and renewable alternatives. We will never be completely free of petroleum, however, we can use less of, below is a partial list of petroleum based products along with a few sustainable alternatives. This excerpt was taken from my eBook: Transition to Green (available on Amazon for $2.99) check it out to learn of more easy tips and insights to live a sustainable lifestyle.
List of Petroleum Based Products and a few Sustainable Alternatives
- Petroleum Based Products: Gasoline, diesel fuel, propane, heating oil, kerosene, asphalt- alternative. Sustainable Alternatives: biodiesel, electricity, solar power
- Petroleum Based Products: Plastic products. Sustainable Alternatives: glass, aluminum, cellulose, sustainable fabric, wood, bamboo, cork, reusable bags.
- Petroleum Based Products: Skincare, haircare, makeup. Sustainable Alternatives: natural beauty products, homemade beauty care
- Petroleum Based Products: Petroleum jelly and mineral oil. Sustainable Alternatives: coconut oil, shea butter, aloe vera gel, beeswax.
- Petroleum Based Products: Canned goods. Sustainable Alternatives: Fresh, frozen and naturally-preserved varieties.
- Petroleum Based Products: Rubber based products. Sustainable Alternatives: natural rubber, recycled rubber.
- Petroleum Based Products: Paints. Sustainable Alternatives: water-based paints, vegetable based paints, milk paint.
- Petroleum Based Products: Inks and dyes. Sustainable Alternatives: vegetable based inks and dyes.
- Petroleum Based Products: Combs and Brushes. Sustainable Alternatives: aluminum options, wood varieties.
- Petroleum Based Products: Cleaning products. Sustainable Alternatives: natural cleaning products.
- Petroleum Based Products: Chewing gum. Sustainable Alternatives: natural mints.
- Petroleum Based Products: Clothing, shoes, accessories. Sustainable Alternatives: Organic clothing, vegan shoes, sustainable accessories
- Petroleum Based Products: Candles. Sustainable Alternatives: soy and beeswax candles.
- Petroleum Based Products: Laundry detergents. Sustainable Alternatives: plant based detergents, soap nuts, homemade detergents.
- Petroleum Based Products: Disposable plates and cutlery. Sustainable Alternatives: reusable plates and cutlery, vegetable oil disposables
- Petroleum Based Products: Toothpaste. Sustainable Alternatives: all natural toothpaste, homemade toothpaste