I can’t imagine life without petroleum. Gasoline fuels the cars we drive and natural gas heats our homes. Those are obvious needs that petroleum meets. Have you ever wondered what your life would be like without crude oil though?
Just think. You wake up in the morning to the sound of your alarm clock going off. Oh, scratch that, it’s plastic, which is a petroleum-based product. So you sleep in.
When you do get up, you get dressed for work, except your wardrobe is pretty limited in selection because all those fabrics made from petroleum-based products don’t exist anymore.
You put on a pot of coffee and put some toast in your toaster. Oops. Petroleum there too. I hope you have a wood-burning stove to cook on.
So skip breakfast and head to the washroom to shower, brush your teeth, and apply your makeup. Without petroleum-based products, you would not have the toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, mascara, or lipstick necessary to accomplish these tasks.
Next you head out to your car. You can’t drive it though, because even if you do have an electric car, you have no oil to lubricate the parts. Well, that just won’t run very well, now will it? Especially not when that smooth asphalt road you rely on is gone. That is petroleum-based too.
Ok no problem though, you can just grab your bike. Wait.. you guess it! Petroleum there too. So just pull on your 100% leather shoes… you do have those, right? Well probably not.
Gee, that hour long commute to work just turned into a ridiculously long, and probably uncomfortable walk.
If you do make it in to work, you will probably want to check your e-mails and voice-mail. Oops. Petroleum strikes again. Computers and phones are all made from petroleum-based products. So are ballpoint pens, ink, calculators, printers, and most likely the building itself from its linoleum floors to its ceiling tiles.
Should you have health issues, or even just a bit of a headache then you are probably out of luck without petroleum. The vast majority of medicines contain Benzene, a petroleum derivative. Artificial limbs, heart valves, hearing aids and many other medical devices and tools are also petroleum-based.
It’s funny how much we all take for granted the comforts that petroleum has afforded us. It has brought us from horse and cart to the age of cars, space travel, computers and more. The fact is that Canadians do rely on petroleum to make gasoline for cars, trucks, buses, trains, boats and planes. Even if you don’t drive a car yourself, you probably still rely on other transportation modes to ship the products you use daily.
We all rely on petroleum for so much, and it is an essential part of the quality of life we enjoy and expect here in Canada. I know I couldn’t live without it, could you?
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Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!