We're all struggling with the price of gas---now that it's well over $4.00 a gallon, I know I've changed my commute habits in the past month to drive even less than I did before. But what other products might potentially increase in price as a result of the high price of oil? Some items you might not expect, like:
Lipstick: 100% of the ingredients and probably much of the packaging in lipstick are made from petroleum products.
Paper: while paper is mostly derived from trees, as you would imagine, what you may not know is that 25% of its production relies on petroleum products (such as the process of turning pulp into paper).
Tupperware: resin, which is used in the production of this plastic product, is set to increase by about $5 million in 2008, leading to at least a slight increase in the price of this ubiquitous product.
Asphalt shingles: the price of re-roofing your house just went up. Asphalt shingles are made out of what's left when crude oil is refined. Might want to consider getting that new roof now, rather than waiting!
Shampoo: everything from the plastic for the bottle to the actual ingredients in your sweet smelling shampoo could be derived from petroleum products. Even the glue on the back of the label is made out of a petroleum product!
Tires: 62% of a tire comes from petro-ingredients, including the artificial rubber and the carbon blacking.
Pretty much anything made out of plastic could increase in price over the next years. So how can you avoid spending more on household goods?
- Try to avoid purchasing items packaged in plastic, for example laundry detergent, or purchase products that have been 'concentrated' and therefore downsized in terms of their packaging.
- Attempt to purchase items in packaging that can be re-used; did you know you can buy your shampoo from some beauty supply stores, and just bring in your own containers?
- Use both sides of your paper when printing; re-use paper for taking notes, making grocery lists, and composting.
- Think about replacing things like tires and roofs sooner rather than later, to avoid paying higher prices that are sure to come.
- Avoid non-essential items that contain petroleum products. This would be difficult for me, a lipstick fanatic. I feel naked without it. Then again, I had no idea it was filled with oil products.
Again, I'm seeing an overlapping benefit to saving money and helping the environment. The less plastic products I purchase and throw away (or even recycle), the better for the environment. At the same time, by reusing my old tupperware and using my lipstick down to the nub I'm saving money, which is always a good thing.