A Quick Look at Our Dependence on Fossil Fuel

Of all sources of energy available to us, the United States obtains at least 86% from fossil fuel. However, one of the staggering statistics is that fossil fuel isn't only used as a source of energy but also in manufacturing many products from synthetics to personal hygiene products. This is a quick look at our growing dependence on fossil fuel.

Fossil Fuel, Renewable Energy and Nuclear Power

When looking at the breakdown of where we obtain our power from, fossil fuel comprises the largest portion at the above mentioned 86%. Nuclear power only accounts for 8% while renewable energy provides approximately 6% of our power. Within the main category of fossil fuel the breakdown is as follows:

• Coal - 23%
• Natural Gas - 23%
• Petroleum - 40%

These statistics drive home the reality that we are totally dependent on fossil fuel at the moment and that change will be slow to occur and a long way off in the future. Unfortunately, this is just fossil fuel in terms of energy consumption.

Products Manufactured from Fossil Fuel - Petroleum

There probably isn't a parent in the country that hasn't used petroleum jelly on an infant when changing diapers and it would be a rare woman indeed who hasn't used petroleum products on her lips. Yes, petroleum is used in the manufacturing of everything from lipstick to golf balls. Other, more obscure, uses for petroleum would be in such things as:

• Skis
• Mops
• Heart Valves
• Electric Blankets
• Detergents
• Yarn

This is just a sampling of the thousands and thousands of products that are currently dependent on fossil fuel, particularly petroleum, in their composition.

Seeking Alternatives to Fossil Fuel in Household Products

Based on our current rate of consumption along with increased demands concurrent with population growth, many experts believe that within the next century the world will have depleted all or most of its supply of fossil fuel. As a result there are massive efforts underway to find alternatives to fossil fuel as an energy source as well as in manufacturing everyday household products. As an example, here are a few suggestions for alternative solutions in manufacturing:

• Lipstick - Hemp and vegan alternatives
• Crayons - Beeswax
• Disposable Diapers - Organic cloth diapers

Any time it is possible to substitute one product manufactured with fossil fuel for another sans petroleum it is a step in the right direction. With a little ingenuity and some wholehearted effort it is possible to significantly reduce our dependence on fossil fuel in manufacturing.

It is interesting to note that the United States is by no means the biggest culprit per capita as Norway leads the pack with India in the rear. Americans are somewhere in the middle as consumers of fossil fuels in everyday living. Nonetheless, it will be a long time in the future before we are able to make an impact on this insane dependence we have on non renewable energy and fossil fuels in general.
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