It’s pretty much common knowledge that we’re burning through oil at an unsustainable rate. Sooner or later we’ll run out of oil and then what?
When many of us think of oil, we think of the stuff that we put into our car engines. We might also think of gasoline (also known as petrol) - the stuff that our cars need to run on.
In reality, crude oil is a much larger part of our lives than many of us realize. There are more than 4,000 different petrochemical products. These products are manufactured by refining crude oil.
Here are some common products that are made from oil:
- Diesel fuel
- Heating oil
- Jet fuel
- Bunker fuel
- Synthetic rubber
- Synthetic fibers
- Photographic film
- Food additives (canned food)
- Synthetic fibers (such as polyester, nylon, acrylic)
It would be extremely difficult (probably impossible?) to live a civilized life in a developed country without using oil. Even those of us who are concerned about the environment, can’t help but use products that are derived from crude oil. Sad but true.
Alternatives to Crude Oil?
As well as being more efficient (and conserving as much as possible), the best thing we can do is search for alternative ingredients for these products. And there are alternatives.
For example, instead of using crude oil, many of these products could be manufactured from hemp. Hemp is a natural fiber which provides amazing environmental benefits over crude oil. And you might be surprised by the enormous variety of products that hemp can produce. Some say there are over 25,000 uses for hemp! For starters, here are 60 uses for hemp.
Plus, there are alternative energy sources such as solar, wind etc.
One day the world will need to make a transition from oil based products to alternatives. I suppose you could say the transition has begun. The more we embrace this transition, the better.