July 29, 2007

petroleum based products

As I've been making an effort to green our home and life, I find myself wanting to avoid plastics and other petroleum based products where possible.

First I cleared them out of the tupperware drawer and switched to glass. Sippy cups switched to metal. I also reduced my use of plastic bags. I even find myself wanting to choose more natural toys and less plastic for my kids. Part of this last choice was due to concerns about leeching. The list goes on.

In addition to plastics, I have tried to clean out our personal care products containing petroleum (vaseline, lip glosses, lots of body care products - including feminine care products and disposable diapers).

While I knew petroleum was "bad", I often forgot why exactly. That's why I was glad to stumble upon this short list from a Treehugger post on bioplastics.

". . . the reasons why oil sucks:
1. We will eventually run out of it
2. When we burn it, it creates CO2
3. When we throw away petro-plastic, it pretty much never biodegrades and can harm wildlife
4. Refining oil is energy intensive and produces toxic chemicals
5. We often have to import it from places with unstable politics"

I know there are uses for plastics which make lots of sense. For instance, after surgery in a hospital you won't find me demanding non-plastic IV tubes or catheters! That said, I'll continue to think twice about using it in other daily situations where perhaps there is another perfectly good substitute.

And for the record, we do love Legos and Playmobil. You definately find plastic in our home. I'm just questioning each use more thoughtfully.


Unknown said...

Another thing that bothers me about petroleum based lip balms and lotions, etc. is that they are actually very drying on your skin. So if you use a product like chapstick, you become a chapstick addict, because it dries out your lips so that it seems you can't live without applying the chapstick every 5 minutes. I used to be one of these people. Now I am very happy, but not addicted to lip balms like Kiss my Face and Dr. Hauschka.

Unknown said...

Thank you for being so aware! It seems to me that everyone is so worried about the gasoline consumption they are exhausting with their automobiles, all the while walking around with water bottles and tossing them randomly into garbage cans and still bringing home their groceries in plastic, store supplied bags. Why does our milk still primarily sold in a plastic jug? What happened to the cardboard cartons which do not deplete the vitamin D and we can produce in the US? Amy

Unknown said...

I have a question for you...I am a "green mom" and have been most of my life. Very aware, have been researching EVERYTHING my whole life. I recently went to a dermatologist that suggested I use Vani-cream on my face, along with "Differen". Once I got the samples, I used it and the results were great! Once I went out to but it, to my dismay, the biggest problem was the petroleum base...along w/ many other chemicals. I've tried to do some research on this, and haven't been able to come up with very much!?? Any words of wisdom of wisdom or sites?? Thanks so much!!
Nikki :)