Thursday, 10 February 2011

The BP Oil Spill and Its Effect on the Environment

In April 2010 one of the world's biggest disasters struck in the gulf of Mexico, when one of the biggest oil spills in the history of the world took place. Just under a kilometre under the sea, one of the biggest oil rigs exploded, which opened up an oil gusher which poured oil out into the sea at an alarming rate. Recently there have been measures put in place to stop the oil from gushing further out into the sea, but as oil has been gushing out into the sea for many months now, the amount of oil lost is unprecedented.
Due to the massive amounts of oil which have mixed with salt water and are now being washed up on the shore, it means that a lot of the oil is not salvageable and the only way to separate the oil from the water is simply to set fire to it. This is not only a huge contributor to all of the green house gasses which are unwelcome in the current climate, but also means that lots more oil from another source has to be found in order to make things such as plastic bags.
Making these bags is costly in terms of the crude oil it takes: only 18 can be made out of the amount of oil that could be made into enough petrol to run a car for a mile. To add to this, many of the plastic bags which will be created from the new oil source will simply be discarded once used, which will contribute to toxic materials which are already in the environment. The toxic materials produced by the disposal of plastic bags is not a short term problem either, as they bags will not rot down easily and will pollute the environment for years to come, even when they do.
The crisis has sparked off a new public outcry about oil and how the use of it should be ceased where possible. To make sure that you do your bit for the environment now, when it is suffering some major setbacks due to humans, is to do as much as you can for the green cause. From taking a cloth bag shopping to replace the plastic ones that are wasted every year, to recycling your plastics and paper and turning your appliances off of standby, there are so many little things you can do to help the environment and which will mean less oil will need to be used to provide for you and the rest of humankind.
Buy a reusable bag and do your bit for the environment. With a wide variety of bags available in jute, cloth and cotton, you will be spoilt for choice. Reusable bags in several designs and material are available at this store here.