When are we going to Run Out of Crude Oil?

We often hear apocalyptic scenarios about crude oil, but sometimes these aren’t really factual. The actual data (when reliable) can help us to understand it in a better way. This data is related to what experts call “peak oil”, which indicates the point in time when the maximum rate of crude oil extraction is reached, after which the rate of extraction is expected to begin to decline… forever.

According to some sources, we already reached peak oil in 2008. That means we are now in a descending phase of the availability of this resource, which is non-renewable. Developing countries like China and India will not drop their demand for crude oil. In fact, their demand will increase exponentially over the next couple of years, requiring almost half of the crude oil that is extracted to be refined.

The slope of the curve on which oil has been extracted peaked relatively slowly. It happened over about 150 years with 60 discoveries related to the use of oil, including plastics, rubber etc. But the downward trend will be quite rapid.

Greener Alternatives to Crude Oil

Cleaner alternatives like natural gas, wind energy, solar energy and biofuel have gained popularity over pollutants like crude oil and coal. But there’s still a way to go before conventional energy sources can be phased out in favour of clean energy.

Renewables have come too late to the game to allow a quick and smooth transition, but better late than never. So, the use of energy as we know it now certainly has an expiration date. It’s true, many people and companies are increasingly aware of the collective responsibility we all have to preserve our planet, and many have banned petrochemicals from their products. But in Italy, for instance, the transport of goods is basically all on four wheels, and those greenhouse gases just keep pumping out in the form of exhaust fumes. Oil doesn’t just serve as fuel. It can be found in your computer, your phone, your car, your bike, your home, the fibres of your clothes… and even cosmetics contain petroleum products.

As a concerned community there are things that we can do (besides trying to become independent from this source of energy). First and foremost, we can make informed choices about which of our products contain crude oil, and look for greener, healthier alternatives. It’s an important step towards a cleaner way of life for us all.

Ren xx

Natural Cleaning for a Healthy Home

Natural cleaning products and ingredients are a surefire way to keep your home sparkling, without the negative side-effects of conventional detergents. But it takes time and determination to change your mindset and move away from the “big brand” cleaners many of us have grown up with.

Modern society has been greatly influenced by an endless stream of advertising by big companies looking to sell us their household cleaners. This has helped to form the belief that we must live in a house that is completely aseptic. We also expect our products to work harder in less time. We want perfect results instantly, don’t we? If we pause to reflect critically on the way we clean our homes, most likely we’ll realise how many things we take for granted.

Poisons in our Homes

Research conducted in Europe and the US has confirmed that domestic pollution is often higher and more concentrated than that found in nature. In the process of trying to eliminate bacteria from the surfaces of our kitchens and bathrooms, we find ourselves immersed in solvent fumes and volatile chemicals. We keep our children away from our detergents, but allow them to crawl over the floors that we’ve washed with those same products. Where’s the logic in that?

Some people are very careful about what they eat, and make sure to buy only organic foods – but then they wash their clothes with chemical detergents and fabric softeners that are highly toxic and polluting. We tend to forget how easily the skin absorbs the substances it comes into contact with – it’s not a wetsuit, people!

It’s not only our own health we should be thinking about. The environment around us is constantly threatened by the use of detergents that are crammed with synthetics (petrochemicals, parabens, SLS, perfumes, colourants… the list of crap goes on and on). We can help to reduce this toxic load by switching to natural cleaning detergents.

A More Natural Approach

These natural cleaning essentials have antibacterial properties, and can be used to keep your house clean without all the unnecessary toxins:

  • White vinegar
  • Natural salt
  • Lemons
  • Baking soda
  • Liquid castile soap
  • Borax

If you’re not quite ready to go the DIY route just yet, there are some great natural and biodegradable cleaning ranges on the market today. Just make sure you read the ingredient lists before purchasing. Look out for certifications too, to make sure you’re getting the real deal.

Bonus Tip: Once you start choosing natural cleaning products, go one step further and start looking at the packaging those products come in. Biodegradable and recyclable materials are the cleaner alternative to plastic detergent bottles.

Let’s start the new year afresh, with a natural cleaning regime for a healthier, toxin-free home!

Ren xx

Eco-Friendly Packaging is our Social Responsibility

Here’s why I believe in eco-friendly packaging. Every single choice we make has an impact on the planet. There are consequences every time we choose to eat one thing instead of another, or choose to go on foot instead of by car. Even the shampoo or lotion we decide to use will have an impact on our environment. These choices will either be in compliance with the Earth and its inhabitants, or against it. Using eco-friendly packaging is an innovative way for companies in the cosmetics business (and beyond) to reduce their environmental impact.

I’m so happy to see more manufacturers making responsible packaging choices. For example, a growing number of food and beverage companies are converting to PLA plastic containers, plates and cups. PLA (polylactic) is derived from corn sugar, and is fully compostable.

Packaging made from corn? WTF, am I right? But believe it or not, it’s true! Corn sugar is extracted from corn-leaves, while ensuring that the fruit is preserved. It’s a process that requires no crude oil or petroleum (unlike conventional plastics). Once the sugar has been extracted it’s then transformed into polymer fibre, which is a lot like plastic, but is totally vegetable-based. PLA bottles compost quickly and easily, without harming the environment.

PLA is just one of the awesome eco-friendly packaging options out there that is helping businesses to make more sustainable packaging choices.

Ren xx

 

Eco-Friendly Policies: A Shared Responsibility

Why are eco-friendly policies so important in today’s business environment?

There are many companies whose activities and policies don’t always align with their responsibilities, or reflect their intentions.

Green Values vs Green Dollars

For example, there are multinational cosmetic companies out there with campaigns to support the fight against breast cancer. Yet those same companies continue to use substances in their products that are likely to contribute to the disease! WTF is that about?

To put it bluntly, these companies are driven by the bottom line. They make their profits by lying to their buyers, and green-washing their products.

Upholding Eco-Friendly Policies

As a business owner, I take my social responsibility very seriously. My team and I are committed to fully expressing our (natural, real, no-nonsense) values in everything we do. That’s why I constantly look for suppliers who use green methods every step of the way. That includes:

  • Keeping the carbon footprint of their factories and facilities low
  • Using water, power and other resources responsibly
  • Sourcing ingredients from trusted sustainable sources
  • Packaging their finished products in eco-friendly materials

Step by step, eco-friendly policies are promoting a wiser and kinder way of doing business.

Ren xx