How Can We Decrease Petroleum Consumption?

Updated on February 27, 2011
D.P. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
12 answers

If every household in the U.S. replaced just ONE bottle of petroleum-based dish liquid with one 25 oz. plant-derived product, we could save 129,000 barrels of oil! (That's enough to heat and cool 7,400 U.S. homes for a year!) How cool is that? Do you know of any other significant ways to decrease petroleum consumption?

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Portland on

So that this stays on the site I suggest you reword it so that you're not giving the answer. Make the question about petroleum and dish washing liquid and not "did you know?"

BTW, I didn't know that dw liquid contains petroleum.

Great question, D..

Edit My Answer
5 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Modesto on

There are so MANY things that have petroleum in them it's absolutely unbelievable. I quit buying the cases of bottled water. Plastic and rubber have petroleum in them.

Other products made from petroleum include:

Dishwashing liquids
CDs and DVDs
Heart valves

Added from something else I saw on the internet:

Artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives in processed foods Sponges Rubberbands Mascara Hairspray Liquid and bar soaps Asphalt Chewing gum CDs and DVDs Artificial fragrances Paint thinner Adhesives/Glues Stuffed animals Many prescription and over-thecounter drugs Varnishes/stains Plastic food packaging coatings inside: steel food cans; paper wrappers, cups, boxes, trays, and cartons; jar lids; and more. Gloves Game Boys/PlayStations/Xboxes Candles and other products made with paraffin wax, including some brands of chocolate Saccharin (Sweet’N Low) Ink Dishwashing liquids Paintbrushes Telephones/Cellphones Insecticides and herbicides Antiseptics Fishing lures Deodorant Vinyl flooring Carpet cleaners Yarn Tents Paint rollers Floor cleaner and wax Shoes Electrician's tape Scrubber pads Rollerskate wheels Skis Hand and body lotions Clothesline Dyes Soft contact and eyeglass lenses Shampoo and conditioner Kerosene Most synthetic fabrics including nylon, polyester, Lycra/spandex and acrylic Food preservatives Fishing rods Oven cleaners Transparent tape Anaesthetics Upholstery Dice Disposable diapers Audio and Video Cassettes Mops Paints Purses Electric blankets Awnings Ammonia Many automotive components: batteries, bumpers, dashboards, upholstery, seat cushions, carpeting, hoses, power steering fluid, antifreeze, motor oil and filters, tires, hubcaps, floormats, seatbelts, wiring, sound insulation, windshield washer fluid, belts, wiper blades, etc. Plexiglass Synthetic rubber/latex Pillows Vitamin capsules Fabric softeners Movie film Rubbing alcohol Loudspeakers Boats Toilet bowl cleaner Credit cards Fertilizers Crayons Insect repellent Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) pipes Toilet seats Air fresheners Caulking Roofing shingles Drain cleaners Fishing boots Lifejackets Balloons Shower curtains Garden hoses Golf balls Curtains Plywood adhesive Umbrellas Laundry detergents Dental floss Beach umbrellas Rubber cement Sunglasses Putty Faucet washers Cold cream Bandages Antihistamines Hair coloring Nail polish False teeth Petroleum jelly Toothpaste Golf bags Tennis rackets Toothbrushes Spot/stain removers Perfumes and colognes Luggage Wire insulation Shoe polish Shower doors Cortisone Carpeting Artificial turf Heart valves Lipstick Artificial limbs Hearing aids Vaporizers Aspirin Shaving cream Parachutes Propane Vinyl siding Motorcycles Many birth control devices including synthetic latex and polyurethane condoms, diaphragms, sponges, and intrauterine devices Baby bottles, pacifiers, and teething rings Industrial lubricants Solvents Natural gas (methane) Jet fuel Gaskets Computer components Window cleaner Charcoal lighter fluid Silverware and other metal polishes Dishwasher detergent Disinfectants

Oil Prices in 2011:
The Oil Outlook for 2011. Themes: Mideast Unrest, Dollar Devaluation.
Oil Prices Will
This report will provide you with the 2011 Oil Price forecaste.
The Pinnacle
Automation Solutions for Petroleum Retail, Wholesale, and Carrier Ops

Read more:

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Goodness. Apparently mamapedia only allows "political" posts when they align with the sentiments of Fox news!

Cracks me up...well, sort of ; - )

It is amazing how many of our products are made with petroleum as an ingredient. Everything from lipsticks to trash bags to certain fabrics. The tricky part is that often, products that are made with "green" products, are still made in petroleum guzzling factories and are shipped by petroleum fueled vehicles. As consumers, we are very, very dependent on petroleum.

I wish I could say that I do more to decrease our petroleum consumption, as a household. Truth is, I usually don't 'buy local' (can't afford to spend the extra money at the co-op), I drive a car and I use a variety of petroleum based products. One major change for us happened when we moved outside of city limits. Instead of driving, driving, driving we limit our trips to town and will grocery shop, have a social visit, pop in on Nana and grab a cup of coffee downtown. We really utilize our miles now. I really don't know how much that actually helps (in the grand scheme of things), but it certainly reduces our gas costs and time spent in a car.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Well, what we're doing isn't exactly "replacing" anything, but we're definately decreasing our gas consuption. We're moving downtown where we have walking access to everything that we need/want to do. Also, we'll be on the bus line. We're moving to a smaller house so our utilities- water, gas, electricity- will all be reduced.

If the conflicts in Lybia and Algeria excalate any more, we're going to be looking at gas prices DOUBLE what we're paying now. Not only is reducing our consumption good for the environment, but it may become a necessity soon.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I'm glad you reposted this, but what products should we avoid?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

ew petroleum??? googling dawn now! thanks for the info, im posting this to FB

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Did this just get pulled a minute ago?, lol!, the moderators can be so sensitive!

As i said in the earlier post, switching to those curly light bulbs is an easy way, a really significant way is too give up or cut down on meat consumption which is the #2 drain of fossil fuels on our world

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

Yes, Take the bus! D.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Oh man, I can't even remember all of the things we do to keep petroleum/petrolatum out of our house. I've been allergic to it since an infant from an auto-immune disease, so we don't use any product containing them as ingredients. We buy local, grow our own fruits/veggies, eat whole/organic foods, store in glass containers, balance our tires regularly, have very clean well water and use Klean Kanteen products (we know its clean because its tested annually per our homestudy for domestic adoption), we combine trips and conserve gas.

Its tough!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Scranton on

Why don't you start with every piece of plastic you own, because the majority of them are made with some type of petroleum product. Honestly I don't think the use of the petroleum is the problem. I think the issue is why with all the science technology we have, WHY don't we know how to refine this stuff better why are we doing things more efficiently. If we had those answers we could start cutting down on pollution have refining centers in our own countries that didn't pollute and stop importing but use our own resources.
We also need to stop being a disposable society.
W e don't care what we throw out, we buy at walmart on Monday and throw it out by Friday!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Shop at the Delaware Local Food Exchange. The food travels less miles to get to you and uses less petroluem based fertilizers b/c much of it is organic. Also, there are several items in bulk so that you can bring your own packaging. Check it out at

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I read this.. If everyone in the US kept their tires properly inflated, we would save 200,000 barrels of oil a day.

Other ways....
Avoid bottled water, use filtered tap water and put into reusable containers
Pump your gas in the early morning, when the temp rises there's more evaporation.

Good question.

1 mom found this helpful

Next question: Organic Cleaning Products