Did you go buy prices my contribution to save the environment and my pocketbook, is parking my gas swilling SUV parked in the garden with the gnomes. Gnomes are nasty creatures and my Chihuahua, Diego needs a bath after every encounter. As I was reading the bottle (to be sure there was no alcohol to harm the little guy’s skin), oil was listed as one of its ingredients.

In its crude form oil is currently selling for over $100.00 per barrel, piling up profits for the already mega rich oil companies. Wars are fought over the rights to drill and sell. And not because of the shampoo and the container it comes in.

Through refining, black gold can be turned into many types of petrochemicals. The following are some common products that we use every day:

  • Synthetic shoes and rubber soles. Natural rubber becomes sticky when hot and stiff when cold.  But man-made rubber stays much more flexible.
  • Car tires are made from synthetic rubber.  The demand for synthetic rubber is four-times greater than for natural rubber.
  • Curtains, carpets and clothes are woven with synthetic fibers. Man-made fibers are often wrinkle-free and do not absorb as much water, so mold and mildew are much less of a nuisance.
  • Plastic Water bottles are made from the family of Polyester.
  • Aspirin. Most medicines are manufactured from chemicals, and petroleum products. Acetylsalicylic acid, or ASA, is the active ingredient in many pain relievers.
  • Vitamins.
  • Fertilizers to increase crop yields.
  • Pesticides are used to protect crops.  Our food production may only be half of what it is today if pesticides were not used.
  • Food additives to increase the shelf-life of canned food.
  • Many bandages with the non-stick pad that covers the wounds are man-made cloth. The medical industry relies heavily on oil-based products for much of their equipment and medicine.
  • All thing Plastic, including covers for I-Pads, cell phones, CD’s, DVD’s
  • Detergents used to wash clothes and dishes in a dishwasher.
  • Inks, dyes, paints
  • Candles
  • Make-up (excluding the oil-free kind, of course)
  • Boat resin to help keep ships sea-worthy.
  • Dog Toys (as well as other toys)

What we would we do if we could not keep our Chihuahua’s hair shiny and lustrous? Even those who are concerned about the environment are forced to use products derived from crude oil.

But if you think you can wash your hands of your environmental responsibility, think again.

Diane Gerdes