The sickening disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is irrefutable evidence: We face a moral imperative to use less oil.
But how can we cut back if, as President Bush once famously said, "We're addicted to oil"?
The fearless women behind the Green Moms Carnival tackle the issue head-on this month.
Jen at PuddleJumping in D.C. puts things in perspective with these amazing statistics: The U.S. consumed almost 3 gallons of oil per person per day in 2007, with about 70% of that fueling transportation. Jen compares that to the 1.6 gallons per day per Japanese citizen and 1.2 per person per day in Great Britain. Jen recounts her family's efforts to travel by foot, bicycle and stroller as much as possible, and makes a strong argument for planning communities that don't depend on cars.
Lisa of Retro Housewife Goes Green reviews what using oil really costs us. In addition to the 11 human lives already lost in the explosion, all kinds of wildlife and fish are now at risk in the Gulf. Fishermen face a very uncertain future as they wait to see the impact the disaster will have on their industry. And the residents of cities like New Orleans worry that the damage the spill will do to their wetlands will make them even more vulnerable to hurricanes than they've been in the past.
As for solutions, Mary at In Women We Trust sets a great example by using the train to cut her commute into Los Angeles in half and get in an hour of productive work time during the ride, rather than gritting her teeth to fight the smoggy LA traffic.
Some moms, like Lynn over at Organic Mania, are in the market for a hybrid car. Kimberly at EcoMom has already taken the plunge with a Nissan Ultima Hybrid, though she's also a strong advocate for buying local, carpooling, bicycling and shopping online as ways to reduce driving overall. Micaela of MindfulMomma took a different approach by downshifting to become a one-car family. It helps that her husband bikes or takes the bus to work, but even so, it's been far easier to manage with one car than she'd expected. I've joined ZipCar, which has saved me a lot of money and helps supplement my one-car family when needed. I've also done a test drive of the Ford Fusion Hybrid, which doesn't equal my 2001 Prius hybrid in gas mileage but still exceeds most cars on the market.
Other moms are advocates for oil alternatives along with energy conservation. Linda at Citizen Green notes that Indiana has more wind power developing than any other state and in her Green Moms Carnival posts suggests many ways you can use less gas when you drive. Maryanne at The Not Quite Crunchy Parent is urging her son to think of alternatives, too - though in his case, Maryanne is trying to get him to take the stairs rather than ride the elevator, and walk a lot more rather than drive. Karen at Best of Mother Earth wants to promote biking, even after her son recently found himself and his two wheels caught between an SUV and a taxi cab.
Beth at Fake Plastic Fish is ever vigilant about plastic, even in windshield wipers! Says Beth, "There is a company that is now making fully recyclable silicone windshield wiper blades that are guaranteed for the life of your car and that you can send back to them for recycling into new wiper blades." Good to know!
By the way, the clean-up effort in the Gulf needs as much help as it can get. One "commodity" in demand right now is human hair and pet fur, two ingredients rescue workers can fashion into emergency booms to help absorb oil out of the water. Don't miss this post by Lisa of CondoBlues who explains how she cut her hair to help clean up the Gulf. You can find more ways you can pitch in here.
You can get the upcoming schedule of Green Mom Carnivals over at OrganicMania.
For more ways to cut back on oil consumption, visit the Big Green Purse blog and website.
And for green product reviews, health and safety information, money-saving suggestions and environmental success stories, get your own copy of Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World, today!