Americans consume approximately one million barrels of oil a day in non-fuel products. As an article in Christian Science Monitor notes: “Look around you. What do you see? A computer screen, the print on this page, a pen, your shirt. Chances are there’s petroleum in all of it. Petroleum-based substances are in everything from lipstick to laundry detergents, clothes to computers to chocolate bars – even fertilizers and pharmaceuticals”

The article goes on to talk about a growing band of chemists who are trying to get petroleum out of these household products using more organic and natural plant ingredients.

Although replacements for petroleum based paints have been around for a while – non-petroleum based plastics is a relatively new science. However it still meets resistance: “The first perception is always that green chemists are tree- hugging hippies, until they realize that this is hard core beakers-and-flasks chemistry,” says Paul Anastas, a former EPA executive and director of the Green Chemistry Institute in Washington, D.C.

You can help the “beaker and flask” green revolution by demanding non-petroleum products too. It means that when we go shopping, we can all be part of Oil Change.