Greenpeace: Ten Ways to Use Less Oil

Greenpeace e-mailed this to me today, and here are (but of course!) my comments in italic to spice it up!:

In the wake of the ongoing catastrophe of the Gulf oil spill, lots of people have been asking us how they can reduce their oil consumption in their daily lives. Here’s our top ten:

1. Carpool, cycle or use public transport to go to work.
-They should introduce a park-and-walk on campus, and have more buses. Either way, I opt to stay in one of the closest hostels to class, and walk.

2. Choose when possible products packaged without plastic and recycle or re-use containers.
-Though you might ask, “but can’t plastic be recycled?” and it’s true, but everytime you recycle plastic, it degrades into a lower quality making it hard or at times impossible to be recycled again. And if you’re thinking about the old argument on whether to use plastic or paper bag, the answer is neither. -Use a cloth bag.

3. Buy organic fruits and vegetables (fertilisers and pesticides are based on oil more often than not).
-If organic food is too expensive for you, try being a locavore at least. -That’s buy and eat local products.

4. Buy beauty products (shampoo, soap, make-up) based on natural ingredients, not oil.
-But it doesn’t mean that you won’t be allergic to it (i.e. nuts, strawberries, prawns, are all natural but many people are allergic to them). Just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it suits you. Sometimes it might take a while to find something perfect for your skin -natural or not.

5. Choose when possible locally produced products (less transport involved).
-Ditto. Less transport involved, and also what is grown and produce locally is probably most suitable for your body type and climate when consumed locally as well.

6. Buy clothes made out of organic cotton or hemp – not from oil derivatives.
-Anything organic is usually better, but it’s always safer to do some research on companies that claim to be “organic”. What’s organic about an oil palm plantation if it destroys acres of reserved forests to plant organic palms? I just don’t get it.

7. Use non-disposable items in picnics and summer festivals.
-Instead of tissue, use handkerchief. Instead of straws, use no straws. Instead of plastic/paper plates and cutleries, use washable ones, or better, just use your hands to eat, the Malaysian way!

8. Quit bottled water.
-There should be an “ICK” sticker stamped on a person’s forehead every time he/she uses bottled water. Bring your own bottle instead.

9. Fly less.
-But if you can’t avoid but to fly, don’t succumb to ordering their food and beverages that come in disposable cups, plates, spoons, etc. Bring (or sneak in) your own little snack.

10. Demand that your government encourage renewable energy instead of subsidizing oil.
-“Demand” is a word most of us dream about…. So we must make it a reality instead.

Want to know more ways you can help the planet? Sign up here for the Greenpeace newsletter.

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