PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Green Living: Green On The Street

Oil and Gas: Big Need, Small Supply
Cars, trucks, trains, ships and planes-almost every vehicle in the world that moves people or stuff runs on oil and gasoline (which is made from oil). Long ago, when there were a lot fewer people and cars, we thought our supply of fuel would last forever. Now we know better. With hundreds of millions of thirsty gas tanks in the world, the oil in the ground is running out fast. Here's why this is a problem:

    Pollution. Burning all that oil and gas pollutes our air. Tanker ships that spill oil in the ocean pollute our water. Thousands of wells, refineries and pipelines pollute our land.

    Climate change. Burning oil and other fuels puts millions of tons of carbon dioxide into our air. Most scientists now agree that too much carbon dioxide can eventually lead to a change in the world's climate, with dramatic and devastating effects on animals, plants, and people.

    Money. As oil supplies run out, the oil that's left will cost more and more money...money we can't afford to spend.

    Conflict. As oil runs out, nations across the world will do almost anything to get the last drops. This leads to conflict.

So how do we break our addiction to oil and gas before it's too late? Well, a lot of change will have to come from our government and our industries. But we as individuals can start the change right here, right now, by changing the ways we use our cars.

What You Can Do

Carpool and Rideshare. Instead of having five different parents drive when you meet your friends someplace, arrange for one parent to drive all of you. If your parents commute to work, encourage them to join a gas-saving carpool-they'll be surprised how much money they can save, and how much less stressful it is not to be the driver every day!

Take the bus. Ride the bus to school instead of always getting a parent to drive. When you're going out with friends, ask if you can take the public bus. One full school bus or city bus can replace dozens of cars on the road, which means less air pollution, less wasted gas, and more room on the road!

Walk or bike. If it's a short distance and safe to do so, walk or take your bike instead of asking a family member for a ride. You'll save gas, get healthier, and have fun!

Encourage your family to:

  • Maintain your family car. Keep the engine tuned up and the tires inflated properly to cut down on gasoline use.

  • Get fuel-efficient. If it's time for a new car, ask them to consider a hybrid, or any car that gets high gas mileage. Gas-guzzlers are bad for the planet and bad for your family's budget!

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