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20 Ways to Reduce Your Dependence on Oil

20 Ways to Reduce Your Dependence on Oil

It’s happened again: An oil spill, this time near Port Arthur, Texas. According to the U.S. Coastguard, 462,000 gallons of oil spilled into the water when a tanker collided with a towing barge on Saturday. According to an AP article on, crews scrambled to protect two “sensitive wildlife areas” — a lake that is prime breeding ground, and a wildlife management area.

If this latest oil spill has you thinking we need to look for alternatives to oil, get ready to make some changes to do your part to reduce America’s addiction to oil. Whether you go for a big change or keep it simple, every little thing you do sends a message.

20 Ways to Reduce Your Oil Consumption

  1. Switch to a push mower that is powered by none other than you.
  2. Plant gardens to reduce the amount of lawn that needs cutting.
  3. Park the car; walk, bike, and take public transit whenever possible.
  4. Avoid buying plastic toys and goods when an alternative is available.
  5. Don’t use plastic bags; stick to cloth reusable bags that can be washed frequently.
  6. Putting on a new roof this spring? Avoid tar in favor of a tile product (metal or clay).
  7. Switch to soy-based printing inks (most are petroleum-based).
  8. Avoid life vests, umbrellas, luggage, and other products made from nylon, a petroleum-based material. Instead, look for alternatives, such as luggage made from recycled plastic (better to reuse what we’ve already processed).
  9. Ditch nylon and polyester clothing; buy natural fibers instead.
  10. Wax the floors with beeswax instead of a petroleum-based commercial wax.
  11. Beware of perfumes made with petrochemicals; look for all-natural scents made with essential oils.
  12. Next time you have a headache, try a couple of big glasses of water before popping an Aspirin (yep, it too is made with oil products); most headaches are caused by dehydration.
  13. Craft with natural fibers such as cotton, wool or alpaca rather than polyester yarn.
  14. Purchase all-natural lip tints or lipstick; typical lipstick and lipgloss are made with oil products.
  15. Remodeling the bathroom? Glass in your shower and you won’t need a plastic shower curtain.
  16. Buy beeswax crayons; those Crayolas (and other brands) are made from oil.
  17. Wear eyeglasses; soft contact lenses are made with petroleum products. (Plastic eyeglass lenses and frame are made with oil, but you’ll wear them a lot longer than most contacts, and you can donate them to charity when you upgrade.)
  18. Stick with a wood deck. Plastic wood (like all plastics) is made from oil.
  19. Embrace your natural hair color, or choose an all-natural hair color alternative such as henna.
  20. Make boo-boos better with natural plant antiseptics, such as St. John’s Wort, lavender, tea tree oil, or eucalyptus; many commercial brands contain oil products.

Check out the 10 most surprising places to find petroleum.

Read more: Do Good, Green, Home, Life, News & Issues, Transportation, , ,

By Cara Smusiak, Planet Green

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Megan, selected from Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, and, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.


+ add your own
3:28PM PDT on Sep 30, 2012

Thank you.

3:27PM PDT on Sep 30, 2012

Thank you.

3:26PM PDT on Sep 30, 2012

Thank you.

12:45AM PDT on Oct 9, 2011

Look serioisly at your fifteenth suggestion again. "Glass in your shower"! Do you seiously want the danger of broken glass in your shower? Or do you shower fully clothed wearing thick-soled boots?

The only alternative to a plastic shower curtain is a transparent hard plastic panel like I have, which I don't like, but no one has yet suggested to me a safe sensible alternative.

I love receiving any suggestions about things to use instead of what I currently do. But they must be safe.

1:48AM PDT on Jul 14, 2011

Dear Friend,

Pollution from the Fisk and Crawford coal-fired power plants prematurely kills 42 people every year. That human cost is paid entirely by the communities who live in the shadows of these two aging plants. You won’t find it on Edison International’s bottom-line.

But the community in Chicago is fighting back. And we have an important role to play in supporting them.

Edison International is a national company and is part of a broader industry that affects all of us. They need to hear the message not just from community activists, but from the American public.

Join me and tell Edison International CEO Ted Craver to shut down the Fisk and Crawford plants by clicking the link below...

3:10PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

I'm all for more garden, less lawn.

6:41AM PDT on Jun 29, 2011


4:33PM PDT on May 6, 2011

Here is a link for reasonably priced environmentally friendly crayons.

10:45AM PST on Feb 17, 2011

This is part of why I'm going to be buying a bike soon. There's so much I can do by bike, and there are a ton of bike trails and lanes. If only more people would realize this!

6:03AM PST on Jan 23, 2011

Easier way to shop is with a basket. Goes right into car. Shop local, shop vegan, use solar power.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Interesting but some would be impractical. Plants above a pet's condo/bed/whatever needs to be caref…

Great ideas! I have a spool on my front porch. I use it for my house plants in the summer.

What kinds of tea?

How lovely! Thanks for the post.

SUPER ideas --we all need more GREEN!!! THANKS


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