Look around the room to discover the many things that come from oil and gas. From keeping the room cosy, to your alarm clock and phone.
Many objects around the bedroom have been made in part by the oil and gas industry – a few surprising things too!
Lily is charging her mobile phone - no matter what type of battery your device uses, it will have been produced using ingredients that came from oil and gas. Some of the most important components that hold a smart phone's apps, music and operating software are also manufactured from products derived from oil and gas.
Think about the medications, toiletries, cosmetics and anything else that makes us feel and look good - almost all of these evolve from oil and gas.
The bathroom is home to many oil and gas products, including toilet seats, shower curtains and plumbing.
Most toiletries and cosmetics are manufactured using oil including nail polish, lipstick, contact lenses, shampoo, and shower gel. Fossil fuels also help make us smell nice, with oil and gas based products helping to make deodorant softer and easier to apply!
Even brushing your teeth would be different without oil and gas! Poloxamers obtained from oil are used in the manufacturing of toothpaste to help the toothpaste mix with water so it can be easily rinsed away - toothpaste also uses dyes made from oil.
Feeling poorly? Most tablets are produced synthetically from oil and gas in chemical plants. Herbal remedies may not contain oil products, but their packaging might!
Synthetic fibres are becoming increasingly popular in the world of fashion. Cotton may be the most common fibre in your t-shirt drawer, but your sock drawer might tell a different story!
Clothing / Fabrics
Unlike traditional materials such as wool and cotton, synthetic fabrics and textiles do not exist in nature; instead we have to make them in a chemical plant from oil and gas. Examples of synthetic fabrics are polyester, acrylic, nylon, and lycra.
Some famous products, like VELCRO wouldn’t exist without oil and gas!
Bear in mind, when you put on a cotton t-shirt the machines used for harvesting cotton probably run on diesel, and unless the fertilisers are organic, there is a good chance they are oil based.
Travelling any distance would be very difficult without the oil and gas industry. The most obvious examples are diesel and petrol, but what about the synthetic tyres and lubricants many forms of transport use?
Cars / Transport
Fuel has become an indispensable part of our day-to-day life; can you imagine life without it?
Cars use fuel to run but they also require regular maintenance. Oil is required to keep things lubricated so the engine takes little effort to keep running. Engine oil is changed from time to time and these lubricants are almost a pure oil by-product.
Hydrocarbons are used to make the tyres, paint, plastic and electronic components of cars, even on electric cars!
Many schools rely on oil and gas for warmth and for heating water, but what about the contents of your pencil case? Is someone chewing gum?
Oil and gas at school
Look at Jack's school bag! What is it made of? Many bags are blended with polyester, which is made from oil and gives the bag strength. Bags also have plastic coatings to keep your books safe from rain and water. Oil is a carbon-rich material, and plastics are large carbon-containing compounds.
Plastics can be moulded into all sorts of shapes, look around your desk - the pens, bottles, cups and rulers are all made from oil.
Chewing gum - surprised? Yes this is a fossil-fuel-based treat! Chewing gum wouldn't be chewy without oil and other components!
Do you think you could enjoy sports without oil and gas?
Sports day wouldn’t be the same without oil and gas. Golf balls and bags, footballs, artificial grass, basketballs and tennis rackets are all made, in part, with oil and gas in one form or another.
The all-weather running tracks that let athletes compete in bad weather are made of polyurethane, a synthetic polymer made from oil and gas. Polymers are very big molecules with long chains of carbon atoms.
Whilst historically, a drum head was made from animal skin, today plastic is used. Nearly all plastics are made from oil – and plastic, needless to say, is absolutely everywhere. The guitar strings which are nylon are also made from oil.
Surprised? Most modern guitar strings are made of nylon which is made from oil, a man made product often referred to as a polymer.
Jack's dad is paying for the lesson with a credit card which is also made from oil and gas by-products. As well as the plastic used, many modern credit cards have a computer chip embedded in them for security reasons which are manufactured using products made from oil.
No matter how organic you like your food, it's hard to find food that hasn’t been touched by the oil and gas industry to some degree.
Have you ever thought about the journey the fish takes before it lands on your plate? Oil and gas play a part in almost every aspect of fishing – the bait, the poles, life vests, fishing boats, the ice chests that keep your fish cold and the wellies worn by fishermen.
What about chips? Fertilisers that farmers use for crops such as potatoes are mainly oil based - without oil local farmers would not be able to keep our supermarket shelves well stocked.
In our electronic world, oil and gas plays a central role! From watching TV, to texting a friend, even the telecommunication infrastructure required to hook up to the internet wouldn’t be possible without oil and gas products!
Have you ever thought about the vast amount of raw materials that are used to go into the making of electronic items? Oil and gas derived products are required for the components as well as for the many items made of injection-moulded plastic.
You can see from the moment your alarm goes off in the morning, until you go to sleep at night, you are using oil and gas products. How many do you use?
Even when it's time to go to bed, oil and gas is still playing a major role in your everyday life. When you go to bed at night, your house is nice and warm and your bed is cosy, ready for a good night's sleep… did you know that oil and gas is not only used to heat your home, but it's required to manufacture a range of materials in your home, for example glass and bricks which help keep your house warm.
Lily and Jack hope you enjoyed finding out more about the importance of oil and gas in our daily lives. Oil and gas are vital in the manufacture of many materials, without its by-products your morning routine would change, you would have to rethink your wardrobe, and you wouldn’t be accessing this website!
Oil and gas like all fossil fuels are a finite resource; here are some ways to use less:
- Walk, ride a bike or use public transport more
- Buy locally
- Reduce your use of plastic
- Use natural organic make-up and toiletries
- Buy products packaged without the use of plastic
- Buy clothes made out of organic cotton
- Reduce, reuse, recycle - making new cans and bottles use a lot more fossil fuels than recycling an old one
- When possible, car share
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