Oil in the Classroom
- Articles, Blog

Oil in the Classroom


– Some people want governments to simply keep oil in the ground. Well, what would that
mean for a classroom? Today we’ve got an expert who’s going to give us a quick lesson. Karen Chong is a former geophysicist and now Karen’s a teacher. So Karen, thanks for the lesson today. – Yeah, it’s my pleasure. – So what would it mean if
we kept oil in the ground, how would classrooms be affected? – Well Colin, I think you’d be surprised at how much it would impact the classroom. So from the pens that students use, to the whiteboard markers
us teachers use everyday, to the garbage cans and recycling bins that are in every
classroom, every hallway, to even these cords on this projector. These are all petroleum products. – [Colin] Okay Karen, so
let’s go back to the pens and the whiteboard markers. If we stop using those,
what if we just use crayons? – I have some bad news Colin, even then we are using petroleum products. Okay so what if we go fully
digital and we just use laptops and iPads and students could take their notes that way. – Well, while that’s a good
idea you have to realize like this projector the
casings on all of our electronics, the stuff
holding the components inside, those are plastics which are
also derived from petroleum. – Okay, so what if we go
back to the Flintstones’ era and students take their
notes using stone tablets. Can we use that? Or is there oil in those? – Stone is fine, unfortunately
where are we getting these stone tablets from? They’re probably going to
have to get trucked here, and we are using oil and gas even then. – Okay so we will get the
stone tablets walked to the classrooms so there’s no gas used. How else are classrooms affected? – You know Colin that’s a great question. So things like even this chair here is derived from petroleum. So any plastics like I mentioned. This laminate on top of this
desk, even though it’s wood, there’s still petroleum
products on top of it. Toilet seats, tape, even the
shiny part of this textbook making it look nice, these are
all derived from petroleum. – Okay you’ve got a lab
coat there, you’re going to tell me that the lab coat is fine right? – [Karen] Well you know
the label says 100% cotton, but it also tells us
that it is water proof and flame retardant, so that coating is derived
from petroleum as well. So even then we are not
completely removed from it. – Okay so we are not completely
safe with the lab coat. So Karen what about other
clothes that are affected? You said that even lab coats
are impacted, what else? – Yeah so an easy one is your shoes. Any durable waterproof sole of your shoe, that’s going to be derived
from petroleum products. One that’s a little harder
to spot, is even in your 100% cotton blue jeans, the
blue comes from an indigo dye, which is synthetic and it’s derived from petroleum products. – Okay so if we get kids to
wear pink jeans or sweats is that what it’s going to take
to stop using oil products? – It seems that way. – Okay let’s shift gears here a little bit and talk about accessories
that people wear. Are those affected too? – Absolutely. So things from your plastic
watches to your plastic wayfarer sunglasses. That mirror finish, the
actual frames themselves, the lenses themselves, if they’re plastic, they are petroleum products. – So that sounds like
a lot of different clothing and accessories are effected. Now we know that kids get
to school often by cars that are powered by gasoline
and buses that are driven by diesel, so those would have to be ruled out as well right? – Absolutely, and even if
those students decided to ride their bikes to school, you
have to consider the handle bar covers, the brake cable covers, your seat, and even the tires, those
are all partially or entirely derived from petroleum. – Okay so I guess that means
for some kids they’re going to have to stop wearing their
running shoes, their parents can’t drop them off anymore in cars that are powered by gasoline, and they can’t even ride their bicycles. Is that what it comes down to? – Just about. – Okay now what about fun
stuff around the school? – Well Colin, even things like
the basketball, soccer balls, hockey pucks, the wraps on
tennis rackets, all of these are derived from petroleum. And lets not forget, speaking
of sports, after a long day of screaming kids, teachers
and probably parents alike often need some Aspirin. Which has benzene in it, which
is also a petroleum product. – Okay, so hopefully
you don’t need too many of those Aspirins this coming school year. I think it seems pretty clear
that there’s a heck of a lot of different things around
the classroom and it’s not so simple to just simply
keep oil in the ground. Karen thanks for your time today. – It’s been a pleasure. – And if you want to
learn more about this, you can do so at our website
which is secondstreet.org

About James Carlton

Read All Posts By James Carlton

4 thoughts on “Oil in the Classroom

  1. I think that the students and teachers should do their part . First; close all parking student and staff parking lots. Second have a monthly save the planet day and turn off the lights and heat for that day. fOR A START.

  2. Oil/Fossil Fuels are used by everyone, everywhere, for EVERYTHING, they are a Cure and not a curse at all.

    We will never get to the Jetson by throwing us back into the life of the Flintstones!

    Keep Calm, emit on, just like all the anti oil/fossil fuel Leaders do every day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *