9 ways to Kick the Oil Habit

Localize! Have you ever stopped to think about where your food comes from? Or for that matter, your clothes, furniture, or most of the manufactured items we depended on? The majority of our everyday goods have been transported thousands of miles, which consumes massive amounts of oil. The best way to reduce your oil consumption, not to mention strengthen the economy, is to support local businesses and buy locally produced goods.

Power your life with renewable energy. Our homes and businesses are powered by electricity, often created by power plants fed by fossil fuels. What better way to reduce your oil consumption of fossil fuels than to install a renewable energy system – be it solar, wind or hydro – at your home or business? Solar has become increasingly affordable, and the renewable energy industry is taking off renewable. Go bio. Did you know that Rudolf Diesel designed the first diesel engine in 1892 to run peanut oil so farmers could grow their own fuel? 115 years later, bio-fuels are finally making a comeback! Bio-diesel, veggie oil and ethanol – all fuels that can be made from plant-based materials – are entering the mainstream as viable fossil fuel free transportation methods.
Build it with earth. It’s not necessary to transport building materials from around the world when you can build with the earth, from your own backyard! Not only will you cut down on oil consumption and create a healthier, non – toxic environment to live in, you’ll have fun building with time honored methods. Grow your own food and save gas on trips to the grocery store – not to mention the thousands of miles that produce is transported – with healthy, fresh produce grown in your own backyard. Besides, what could be more satisfying than preparing a meal with homegrown, pesticide – free veggies? Visit the Solar Living Center where you can experience many of these different solution in action. In addition to providing a campus for many of our hands – on work- shops, the Solar Living Center’s 12 acres are packed full of examples of sustainable living that provide alternatives to oil – consumptive lifestyle.
Get involved with community – based organizations (like the Solar Living Institute!) that re supporting creative alternatives, donors and friends; your participation really does make a difference. Find your dream green job so that your daily actions contribute to creating an alternative to an oil – driven economy. In response to students’ constant requests for career training and advice on how to find a green job, we have developed many career focused workshops, including our popular Green Career Conference. Incorporate energy efficiency into your home to reduce your consumption of fossil – fuel – powered energy. Simple changes like adding insulation and double – paned windows, or using energy – efficient \appliances, can help you cut down on your energy use.


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