Living Green & Simple without Oil

Our individual ability to truly try living green by simplifying our lifestyles is an incredible and underestimated force. With the social and ecological disaster of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico seeping into our conscience, the extent of the developed World’s infrastructure is front and center. Similar to corn, it seems almost impossible to remove oil from our lives entirely. But this is where the Big Rs come into play: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. We can read up on the damage, participate in clean-ups, and donate to causes. Combining these awareness efforts with real time action to reduce our personal oil consumption can make a big difference.

Here is the rundown on kicking large parts of our oil habit:

Transportation – The wheels on the bus go round and round, as do bicycle wheels, efficient cars, and feet (kind of). Mass transit’s development needs our participation. Supporting its integration into our cities and increasing its ridership are key components of weaning us from our oil addiction. Dusting off the old Schwinn and cycling around the neighborhood has never been easier with the explosive market of Bicycle Applications. Living green and living healthy have become synonymous for a lot of individuals. Getting out and walking is a great way to workout without all of the equipment, since health is not only about physical activity, but also social activity. Of course if any of these options fail, there is always the old automobile. Electric cars, hybrids, Zipcars, Whipcars, and CAFE standards, Oh my!

Local and Organic, No joke – No seriously, are you living green and simply by localizing your supply chain? It is more possible today with our gizmos and guides than twenty years ago. The more local something is, the less petroleum it consumes in terms of transportation. Now combine that with buying organic products that take less petroleum-based fertilizers to grow and take a bite out of your oil consumption.

Plastic is Old News - Plastic was originally a petroleum derivative, and its synthetic counterparts consume a great deal of oil during production. So why not kick the plastic habit? It may seem difficult at first, but glass, stainless steel, and compostable items are not only more sustainable, they last longer, or in terms of compostables, biodegrade safely. And just where does all of the plastic we have already consumed go? A lot of it ends up in the Ocean in one of the five gyres, including the Pacific Garbage Patch.

As for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, you can keep up to date on its impact via a tracking system online or keep up to date on the hot potato of responsibility.

Justmeans will be posting a series of articles on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, so keep watching the site for new information, living green tips, and actions you can take to get involved.

Photo Credit: Dave Laskarzewski