RESOURCES SHARING

We are running out of resources!
What can we do to save petroleum?

If you want to learn more about this precious resource, don’t waste your time, listen to the audio and read our post.

Petroleum

Petroleum is a natural liquid found beneath the Earth’s surface that can be refined into fuel (Treibstoff). Millions of years ago, algae (Alge) and plants lived in shallow seas (Flachmeer). After dying and sinking to the seafloor, the organic materials mixed with other sediments (Ablagerungen) and were buried beneath the seafloor. Over millions of years under high pressure and high temperature, the remains of these organisms transformed into what we know today as fossil fuels. [1] 

Petroleum extraction takes place in up to three phases.[3] Deep drilling rigs (Tiefbohranlage) are required for petroleum production. These drilling rings drill (Bohrung) to depths (tiefe) of up to several thousand meters.

Petroleum is a hazard for humans, animals and our environment. If oil were to get into the sea during petroleum production, this would lead to bad consequences for the animals and the environment. [4] Unfortunately, there have been a few quite a few oil accidents. Many people have died and large quantities of crude petroleum has been exposed to our ecosystem. To produce gasoline, heating oil or diesel fuel, crude petroleum has to be burned. This releases large amounts of carbon dioxide (Kohlendioxid). This accumulates (kumulieren) in the atmosphere, which causes lower atmosphere layers to heat up. The leads to global warming. [5]

About 95 million barrels (US measurement) of petroleum are consumed every day. That is equivalent to more than 15 billion liters [6]. Converted into bathtubs, the total is 100 million bathtubs.
If humans continue to consume oil like this, then our current petroleum reserves should only last for at least 50 years. [7]

Which products contain petroleum?

Many people do not know how many times we come into contact with products containing petroleum. Surprisingly several times a day.

Following products all contain petroleum:

… and many more…

As you now realize, products that we use daily all contain petroleum.

Why do we have to share/save petroleum?

Due to the fact that petroleum reserves are becoming increasingly scarce, people have to find alternatives to oil and get used to it. Otherwise much of what is our daily routine would be lost. For example, cars would run out of fuel, airplanes would no longer be able to fly and many products would have to be produced differently, such as chewing gum, clothing or cosmetic products.

If we were to reduce our daily use of petroleum, it would not only have a positive impact for us humans, but for our environment. As has already been mentioned. Petroleum is a precious resource that is millions of years old. When petroleum reserves become scarce, many products will become rare luxury goods. This would mean that our future children and grandchildren would not be able to use this precious resource.

How can we share petroleum?

Sharing petroleum in itself is difficult, but we have come up with some ideas on how to share certain products so that you consume less of them.

1. Petrol: The majority of the petroleum we need is for petrol. Therefore for our mobility. By setting up car communities (car pooling) we can reduce fuel consumption.  With sharing cars and the fuel we could reduce the emission of pollution.

2. Heating oil: Sharing heating oil is a bit more difficult. What we could do is that we avoid the consumption of heating oil by switching to solar energy. In this way the energy is gained from the sun and we don’t need do consume heating oil.

3. Clothes: Yes, there is petroleum in our clothes too! We could exchange our clothes with our brothers and sisters or at clothing exchanges with other people and therefore we don’t have to buy new clothes.

4. Tupperware: Reusing plastic containers instead of throwing them away. Reusable Tupperware can be exchanged at Tupperware parties with other people like our neighbours, friends and family. 

5. Cosmetic products: Shampoos, creams or body lotion could be shared within the family. If you use products with a neutral smell, you can also share these products between different genders like with your brothers and sisters without any problems.

Survey

In order to find out if there are people who would make our suggestions for improvement, we made a survey. The survey was filled out by 20 people.
To our questions we received the following result:

1. Would you switch from oil heating to a renewable (erneuerbare) energy heating system for your house?

87.5% of the respondents would switch to a renewable energy heating system


2. Would you share your clothes with someone to save petroleum, which is needed for the production of fabrics (Textilwaren)?

31.25% would share their clothes.

3. Have you ever been to a Tupperware party?

31.25% have already been to a Tupperware party.

4. Would you exchange Tupperware with friends or relatives in order to save the resource oil?

50% would share their Tupperware.

5. Would you share shampoo or cosmetics with others instead of buying everything yourself?

62.5% would share their shampoos or cosmetics.

 6. Would you take part in a project where various items can be exchanged for others and thus save oil?

Most of the answers were that they would try, but would rather not share personal items such as clothes. However, they would share everyday items.

In summary, it can be said that petroleum is a wide used resource in everyday household items and products that we aren’t even aware of. An excessive amount of petroleum overuse could lead to bigger problems. People are slowly starting to become aware of the rising problem that petroleum shortages could bring. And all this in a near future. In this mindset we think people would try and help to save petroleum as a resource so that our children and our children’s children could appreciate this effective resource. We also think that being aware of this arising problem is very important because the time is now to change our ways to save this precious resource.

Experience

The more research we did on this topic the more interesting it became. For our post we had to limit ourselves to the essential but there is so much more to learn and research about petroleum. We never imagined that there was so much information behind this resource.

What stunned us the most was the fact that there is oil in many products in which we never expected it. Especially the fact that there is petroleum in chewing gums shocked and disgusted us. We now value this resource all more and we will use it more sparingly in the future.

Our experience with the project was very good. The teamwork between us three worked very well. We divided the tasks  and then exchanged and collected our results. 

Thank you for your reading 🙂

Vanessa, Anja and Emanuela

Reviewer: Alexa Buser

Sources

[1] Origin petroleum | www.nationalgeographic.org
[2] Origin petroleum| www.invesopedia.com
[3] Oil production | www.heizoel.total.de
[4] Petroleum is dangerous | www.kinder.wdr.de
[5] Oil and the environment | www.utopia.de
[6] Daily consumption | www.energie-umwelt.ch
[7] Oil reserves | www.lifestrom.de
[8]Products that contain petroleum  | www.taz.de
[8]products that contain petroleum | www.utopia.de
The survey was created on surveymonkey and the graphics were taken from there
Photo Gallery (
Which products contain petroleum?) photo selfmade

 

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