June 17, 2010

How Does BP Oil Relate to Interior Decorating?

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:26 am by dotcomdecorator


Like many of you, I am angry about the BP oil spill! That anger has spurred a vow to boycott BP and avoid purchasing their gas and oil products.  I am one individual, with very limited gas usage anyway, but if many of us commit to this action, it will make a difference.  Or will it?

While boycotting  gas and oil purchases from BP is one immediate action, consider that over 6000 items are made with petroleum! Many of those 6000 items are common, household products we encounter daily, without awareness! Boycotting the purchase of BP gasoline is only one infinitesimal step toward diminishing their profits through reduction.  And while our immediate concern may be on crippling BP, let’s think beyond that and consider what we can do to reduce our petroleum dependency, thereby reducing our “carbon footprint”.

Most of us are aware of the availability of organic cleaning products, the choice of paper over plastic, and reducing gas consumption and emissions through carpooling. This is awareness born of the “green” movement. Each good choice we make is a step in the right direction, but there are myriad choices we have, but may not even be aware of!

While I cannot list 6000 items here, I have included just a few of the basic items most of us use and/or encounter on a daily basis:

Antihistamines

Antiseptics

Aspirin

Ballpoint Pens

Bandages

Cameras

Candles

CD’s & DVD’s

Clothes

Cold cream

Combs

Crayons

Deodorant

Detergents

Drinking Cups

Eyeglasses

Hair Coloring

Hand Lotion

Insect Repellent

Lipstick Nail Polish

Panty Hose

Perfumes

Rubbing Alcohol

Shampoo

Shaving Cream

Shoe Polish

Soap

Soft Contact lenses

Sun Glasses

Telephones

Toilet Seats

Toothbrushes

Toothpaste

Transparent Tape

Trash Bags

Vitamin Capsules

Are you shocked where petroleum is used? Are you embarrassed at your naiveté? Are you dismayed by how oil-dependent we have become? I know it took a good while for me to wrap my brain around the proliferation of petroleum use in products, and my consumer dependency. While I have not made sweeping changes to my lifestyle, I am more aware of my choices and do attempt to make the best choice whenever possible.

Again, you may be wondering, “how does BP relate to Interior Decorating?”  The home product market is one of the largest petroleum-based markets! Everything from roofing shingles to candles, from carpet to sofa cushions, from paint to dishes, and floor varnish to fabric can contain petroleum! The chair you’re sitting in as you read this, your computer monitor, the walls and floor that surround you, and even your flooring probably contain petroleum distillates. Notwithstanding the environmental impact the use of all this petroleum may have, how good can it be for us to be in constant contact with these products? Oops!, back to the interior decorating slant…

Now you have awareness, so what choices can you make in your decorating and home product purchases? The obvious answer is to seek natural, preferably renewable, resources. For instance, instead of polyester fabric, choose cotton, linen, wool, and bamboo. When selecting pillows and furniture, avoid foam products and instead opt for feather/down or even bamboo fillers. Opt for wood, tile or  natural carpeting such as wool, or lower environmental impact  SmartStrand carpeting, in lieu of standard synthetic carpeting.  For counter tops, select tile or granite over manufactured products. Use natural, “green” paint and finishing products.  While many of the aforementioned products are still processed with petroleum energy, the impact is less than for those products created with petroleum bases!

While my home is not void of petroleum dependency, I am moving in the right direction! My favorite efforts include saving and repurposing furniture and household items slated for a landfill.  Some of my favorite things are those which I have given new life to; in fact, somehow through the process of rejuvenating them, I have also been renewed! It’s a great feeling to know one less tree will be cut down for the purpose of a piece of furniture I want; maybe one less barrel of oil will be processed for my needs; less space will be used in a landfill because of me; and I get the satisfaction of creating something unique! Sometimes, but not often, I also save money along the way!

Today I encourage you to look at the many ways you support not only BP, but all oil companies, and where you might find peace of mind–and perhaps even tap into your own creativity–by making changes!

Until next time,

Viva Con Gioia!

The DotComDecorator

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