Oil is Too Expensive for Wasteful Use

Looks like those “crazy environmentalists” were right all along: the cost of oil has gotten so high that companies are looking for alternatives. When it comes to companies that rely on petroleum-based products they’ve noticed that their profits are dwindling because the cost of oil has gone up, so the bioplastics industry is now on the rise.

Hopefully this increase in the insane consumption of oil will spur on more companies looking for alternative options. These options exist and are being produced already, we just need the forethought to use them now.

“A lot of brand owners, particularly those that rely heavily on packaging, are interested in protecting their long-term costs,” said Douglas A. Smock, a plastics analyst who wrote a report for market research firm BCC Research that predicted a boom in plant-based bioplastics. “They want more predictable cost structures going forward. The high price of oil is responsible for the rapid emergence in interest in bioplastics.”

Ford said it has eliminated 5 million pounds of petroleum annually by using soybean-based cushions in all of its North American vehicles. The company said it got rid of an additional 300,000 pounds of oil-based resins a year by making door bolsters out of kenaf, a tropical plant in the cotton family.

“Finding alternative sources for materials is becoming imperative as petroleum prices continue to rise and traditional, less-sustainable materials become more expensive,” said John Viera, Ford’s global director of sustainability and vehicle environmental matters.

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Ford Predicts Saving $1.2 Million by Using Off Buttons

Ford is looking to save up to $1.2 million dollars by shutting down their computers over night and over weekends. When a company the size of Ford commits to such a simple action the overall effect can be huge.

The new program, called PC Power Management, utilizes energy saving settings provided by Microsoft Windows. The energy settings will be used on company laptops and desktops to reduce energy waste. A managed shutdown will occur each night and during the weekend period. Additionally, computers will be awake to receive updates during pre-selected non-business hours, freeing up time previously used for updates throughout the working day.

According to Ford, an estimated 60 percent of the company’s computer remained on after business hours resulting in wasted energy. The new managed shutdown will eliminate waste to the tune of over a million dollars in savings for the company and reduce its carbon footprint by an estimated 16,000-25,000 metric tons per year. Hit the jump for the full details on the program.

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