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petroleum based products

Posted Sep 12 2008 9:30am
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.
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