Oil spills, whether on land or in the ocean, are incredibly destructive events to the environment. Vast amounts of crude oil can literally devastate not only the local ecosystem, but the economy as well. The best way to prevent oil spills is to be sure to do your part along with encouraging oil companies to also take a proactive role in protecting our planet. Here are a few ideas to consider and perhaps implement:
1. Decrease Fossil Fuel Usage
You can diminish how much energy you consume by doing the following:
- Altering your commute (think car pool) and how you use public transportation
- Modifying home energy retrofits in order to decrease cooling and heating expenses
- Drive a more fuel efficient vehicle
- Use energy efficient lighting
2. Generate Your Own Green Energy
While it’s not always possible, many people are switching to eco-friendly energy by installing wind, solar, or geothermal sources. This will radically decrease oil industry support by implementing renewable energy sources on your property. Refer to the U.S. National Atlas to discover which renewable energies are most favorable for you. Or you can watch the inspirational story of African innovator William Kamkwamba. You can’t help but wonder if people in developed nations can’t all harness the wind as William did.
3. Politically Support Clean Energy
Consider joining an organization or group that supports the fight for more green energy, so that we can reduce our need for oil as a whole. Such organizations that support renewable energy include 350.org, Center for American Progress, Sierra Club, and others by either providing financial support or volunteering.
4. Oil Companies Implement More Thorough Testing
Most oil spills happen because equipment breaks. This is especially true in the dry land oil drilling projects in the North Dakota region and northward into Canada. If companies were watching their equipment more carefully, more accidents could be prevented. The issue is that testing and inspecting pipeline is a very significant investment for oil companies.
There is one company by the name of 20/20 NDT who specializes in an extremely lightweight and efficient procedure of inspecting vulnerable points in the equipment used to harvest the oil resources we so desperately need.
5. Buy Eco-Friendly Electricity
Not everyone has the opportunity to generate their own wind or solar power. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t purchase green electricity from your local power provider. Typically, there are two options geared towards this:
- In regulated power structures, green pricing options let the customer pay a premium in order to have an equivalent usage of power pumped into the grid as green energy.
- On the other hand, green marketing options working in highly competitive electricity markets can sell the customer their energy directly from 100% green energy providers.
6. Ban Sensitive Drilling Areas
Oil can’t spill if companies aren’t drilling for oil in the first place. Another way to prevent crude oil spills is to try to ban drilling in key areas where an oil spill would likely devastate the local area and economy. This effort would obviously involve developing strong energy alternatives to oil to such a level that any further drilling is unnecessary.
Keep exploring and educating yourself on how various countries utilize energy in addition to the U.S. Perhaps, the need to drill for oil will someday be a distant memory.