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1. Paper Cups - Paper cups are coated with plastic or wax in order to make them waterproof. We know plastic is derived from oil or natural gas, but did you know most wax is too? The type of wax used to waterproof paper cups is polyolefin wax — which is a polymer derived from oil or natural gas.
2. Candles - Speaking of wax, did you know that candles are also made from polyolefin wax? A natural alternative to burning polyolefin wax candles are beeswax candles.
3. Fruits & Vegetables - That wax coating on your store bought fruits and vegetables is (you guessed it) also made from petroleum. Another good reason to shop at the local farmer’s market!
4. Reusable Shopping Bags - Many reusable shopping bagson the market today are ironically made from the same oil derived materials they are designed to replace. Reusable shopping bags are typically made from non-woven polypropylene — PP or resin ID code 5 for short. While these bags are recyclable, I would recommend purchasing a heavy duty canvas reusable bag instead. Canvas reusable bags are made from cotton, and last longer.
5. Detergent - Most commercially available dish, dishwasher, and laundry detergents contain petroleum based surfactants. Surfactants are the part of the detergent that allows them to pull grease and oil from materials. It also increases water penetration while washing clothing. oil free alternatives are Methodand 7th Generationdetergents.
6. Polyester - You might be wearing oil derived clothing right now! Polyester is derived from PET plastic. The same material as 2 liter soda bottles. As a general rule, most products that start with the prefix “poly” are made of a plastic polymer. If you want to stay away from oil derived fabrics in your clothing, your best choices are hemp or organic cotton clothing.
7. Paint - House paint is made from acrylic latex, yes even the so called eco-friendly brands of paint. Eco-friendly paints are otherwise normal paints that do not produce unpleasant, or harmful odors. Eco-friendly paint is typically marketed as Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) free, but they are still derived from oil.
8. Foil packaging - Vacuum packed coffee, snack, and chip bags that have a thin metal coating on the interior are actually made of Mylar. Mylar is thinly stretched PET plastic, coated with a thin layer of aluminum, and sometimes finished off with a polyethylene laminate. An alternative to purchasing foodstuffs in Mylar packaging is to shop with reusable containers at farmer’s markets, or the bulk section in your grocery store.