we are all covered in oil

I think this is all we need to know:

The United States uses almost 25% of the world’s supply of oil, and only holds 2% of oil reserves.

Just think about that for a moment. Let it sink in.

It means that even if you don’t own a car, ride your bike or walk instead of taking public transit, you still use oil. You aren’t off the hook because you drive a Prius or carpool. Those are helpful things, but that is only a small part of the big picture.

Oil brings us the things we need. The things we consume. Things like food and clothing and furniture. That’s why people are talking about eating local movements, and finding out it is really hard, if not downright impossible.

For example if you like coffee, tea, or chocolate, the base ingredients for those items can only be grown along the equator. So even if the end product comes from a local (to you) company, that company had to import those ingredients.

Others have experimented celebrating Christmas where nothing came from China. They thought it would just mean their kids (and husbands) wouldn’t be getting any electronics under the tree. Then they looked at the labels in the robe and slippers they were buying for Grandma and realized they were also made in China. And so were most of their other gift ideas, along with the artificial tree, lights, and decorations.

A reporter recently went to Grand Central Station and asked people to remove clothing items that were not made in the US. He had to stop some people before they ended up going commando on him, but they got the point. Of course there were a few folks who didn’t have to remove anything, but they were few and far between. Do you know where your underwear were made? Without peeking?

We don’t think about things like turning off a light when we leave a room, putting on a sweater instead of turning up the heat, or trying to run errands to save gas until energy costs soar. So now that gas is back at that $4 per gallon range, it is time to act – and continue those behaviors when things settle down.

If nothing else, put a sticky note with “USA uses 25% of the world’s oil, but only has 2% of oil reserves” next to your thermostat, fuel gauge, refrigerator, and closet. Think about where that avocado or swimsuit came from before you put it in your cart. Talk to others about the changes you are making, and perhaps they will make them too.

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