My bathroom is a key area in my crude-reduction quest. All manner of petroleum- and natural gas-derived soaps, lotions, perfumes, medicine, plastic bottles and instruments of hygiene (nail files, toothbrushes, etc.) cycle through there regularly.
"The extent to which oil and gas is involved in everything is breathtaking," Post-Carbon Institute President Julian Darley said.
I find that especially true in my bathroom.
Let's consider aspirin. The little pills are oil byproducts, according to the American Chemistry Council. Aspirin is derived from salicylic acid, which is derived from sodium phenolate, which is derived from phenol, which is derived from cumene, which is derived from benzene and propylene, both of which are derived from petroleum.
No matter. I'm not giving up that.
Until the next remodeling project, the infrastructure here is set. Whatever petrochemicals went into the production of my floor tile, shower and cabinets have already been consumed. The same goes for the sealants covering them. Instead, my purchasing habits are the focus.
These days, there's plenty from which to choose. The push for organic products has been building for decades, so now you can easily find shampoo, toothpaste, gels, hair spray, lotions, cosmetics and sunscreen, as well as cotton balls and swabs, without dyes and other chemicals.