By Tracy Hepler

The Green Lifestyle Series is supported by Yourdailythread, a modern guide for the eco-curious and social do-gooder. This post was originally featured on YDT’s online magazine which offers a free daily email with entertaining and informative green tips.

It has been over 65 days (at an estimate of 504,000 gallons a day) since the B.P. oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. While we here at YDT have left the reporting of it to major news sources, we can’t help but think about it and all the devastation that has come.

On an individual level I have wondered, what can I actually do? There are obvious things like drive less, donate human and pet hair trimmings to Matter of Trust, but beyond that I wondered…

I took a look around at everything around me and realized, it’s all from oil. Every possession was brought to me through oil and many of the products I owned include oil-by products.

I thought, what if we get the unnecessary oil out of our lives? Things likeplastics, mineral oils, Vaseline and the additional 6000 + products made from crude not used for gasoline production. This is something that we all can do, no matter where we are. To get started here are five recommendations to get oil based products out of your life.

  • Mineral Oils: Mineral oils are found in common skin care products like Johnson and Johnson’s baby oil. Bottom line is you don’t need it and it is nowhere near as good for your skin compared to natural and essential oils. Get the 411 on our guide to essentials oils.
  • Plastic Containers: Why store food in plastic when you can store it in glass? I recently converted my entire food storage system to glassware and used many left over pasta sauce and jam jars in the process. Glass Tupperware type storage is always an option too. As always, avoid plastic water bottles and take out items are a great idea too.

  • Cleaning Products: Most mainstream products (including dish soap) often are made with petroleum by-products. Who wants to eat on a plate cleaned with gas? Seek out cleaners made from certifiable natural products, or even better make your own.
  • Plastic Bags: If you BYOB to the grocery store are you using plastic bags for your home trash bins? With options like biodegradable Bio-Bags (in all sizes including doggy bags) there is no need to throw any more plastic away.

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