Friday, May 7, 2010

oil conservation--- a way of life

On the verge of vanishing
Indifference worth punishing
Let’s all pledge conserving.

As the human race is constantly marching towards achieving new
heights of technology and machinery development; the thing which we
are overlooking is the raw material which has enabled us and literally
fuelled us towards this development. We are overlooking the dwindling status of the most
valuable commodity in this planet today,

If we look into the present scenario, horrifying data emerge.
We have already used up half of all the recoverable oil that ever existed on our planet.
According to British Petroleum world oil reserves stand at 1238 billion barrels. At present, yearly world oil production stands at 31 billion barrels. There is enough oil to last 40 years if production holds constant and no new oil is found. oil formation is a very complex and time consuming process, spanning over millions of years. Hence we can say that oil is a non-renewable source of energy and can't be resurfaced at our will.

And while the sources are finite, the utility and usage of oil in the present world is unlimited. Right from the synthetic curtains hanging on our windows, to the rubber shoes on our feet; the candle, the compact disc or the camera film; almost every little thing we use is a by-product of oil or petroleum. So we can easily apprehend that we can’t just throw oil out of the window and jump into some other alternatives. Hence the easiest way out is cutting down our usage of oil and conserving it so that the world doesn’t run out of its most precious commodity prematurely.

The methods we can inculcate in our lifestyle can make a grand difference in the long run.

Oil is the most dominant source of energy in world today. Be it the industries or our home, the source of energy can eventually be traced back to oil and petroleum. So to conserve oil we must turn to the non conventional sources of energy. solar ,wind and geothermal energy can serve as the path following which we can displace oil from it’s numero-uno position. Usage of solar lamp in case of a power cut, using motors driven by wind to pull water can well are cheap and environment friendly too.

The first next step should be slackening our over dependency on motor vehicles. Lesser utilization of private cars is a primary way of saving petrol, diesel and LPG-the most direct derivatives of oil. We can walk or cycle for minor distances, and take the aid of public buses for larger distances. This is also a more healthy option. The increasing pollution can also be checked by following these simple notions.

Our next measure will be targeting plastic. Plastic bottle is made from the same petrochemical as the fiber we call polyester. Plastic objects have become so intermingled in our lives that living without using one or the other plastic product is virtually unthinkable. Plastic medical instruments, building materials, automobile parts, cell phones, toys and tools make things in this world affordable, convenient and portable. Estimates are that 4 percent of total oil and petroleum is used in making and marketing plastic products. Energy experts doubt that, should demand for plastic diminish, there would be less drilling and production of oil. The recycling of plastic bottles - particularly those made with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) - is abysmal. Up to 80 percent of PET beverage bottles end up in landfills where they take 1,000 years to degrade. The same is true of the over-abundant plastic wrapping used on many products - from small toys and cosmetics entombed in many square inches of plastic to electronics and larger items. But unfortunately we don’t have enough substitutes to plastic.

So our endeavour should be to use as less plastic as possible. We can carry jute bags to market and abrogate polypacks. We could use glass jars and bowels wherever possible; like for keeping milk or feeding the cat. We can replace the fancy plastic tiffin boxes with the stainless steel ones. Cast iron pans which don’t have any Teflon coating are good options for frying. Instead of using manmade synthetic rubber we can opt for natural rubber products which can be more durable and useful.

The dominant sources of entertainment in today’s world- compact discs and audio cassettes are also refined petroleum. Polycarbonate and polyester films in generous doses are implemented in marketing these. As music is an inseparable part of our lives, we can’t just stop listening to music. But we can switch over to the conventional radio or the internet radio. Although these products also derive their sources from petroleum, they are one time investments and hence can cut down the overuse of petroleum.

After satisfying the soul with music comes the turn of satisfying the body with food. And no surprise that we find our old friend oil here also. Apart from the direct oil we use in our food, the Food additives are yet another petrochemical. Many of these additives increase the shelf-life of canned food. Oil is invariably harmful for our body and results in accumulation of fat and other serious ailments. So we have to keep away from using too much oil in our food. Olive oil is a healthy alternative. We should shrink consumption of canned food also.

Following the quenching of hunger, we turn to dressing up. Most of the fibres like rayon, Dacron etc used in clothing industry are spin-offs of petroleum. Through refining, petroleum can be turned into many types of petrochemicals. One of these is synthetic fibers, which can be woven into dresses, curtains and carpets. By setting aside fibre and silk based products we can contribute hugely towards saving oil. Totally getting rid of all synthetic fibres is not possible in this modern world. But we can at least try wearing cotton shirts or using jute carpets. There are many indigenous industries producing beautiful covers, drapes etc out of replenishable objects. By using them we will also be doing the country’s economy a great help.

And now as both our stomach and soul are content, we turn creative. And here comes the mightier than sword pen. The colour of most pen ink is the result of dyes. These dyes are made from petrochemicals.
We can’t just cease the usage of pens, but we can use pencils whenever possible.

Ah, just as everyone was hale and hearty, the Pandora’s Box accidentally popped open. And as usual we find oil and its sources to the rescue. Some medicines, such as penicillin, are made by organisms, but most are manufactured from chemicals, and many of these are made from petroleum products. Acetylsalicylic acid, or ASA, is the active component in many of the well-known, over-the-counter pain relievers. ASA is manufactured from petrochemicals. One of the first uses of oil, dating back thousands of years, was as medicine. The alternative to this is right in our grasp. The ayurvedic and unani medicines are efficient and could cut down the oil overuse.

In this essay we delved into some most common aspects of human life and tried to find substitutes to the conventional oil and petroleum sources and hence discover ways of making oil conservation a way of life.most of the times we are faced with a a dilemma as to what difference will my following the rules will make.if every1 thinks like this, the situation can never improve but if every1 contributes, the world can be a better place in a jiffy. But our life is literally so engrossed in oil that we can’t just cut out oil from our daily life. but as oil can’t last forever, we have to look for alternatives. As we have found here, the other way round is most of the times more profitable and environment friendly. So why can’t we just innovate a little and make the earth a more beautiful place to live on......

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