This era in history may be remembered as the "Peak Age", a brief time when nearly all materials used to power and create our society reach the maximum extraction and production potential. Past this point, all of these resources become increasingly difficult to extract until they are no longer economically viable resources to be using. There are hundreds of examples of resources, currently embedded in our industrial society, which have reached their peak in the 50 years surrounding 2010, but the one which will most impact our society is petroleum.

The goal of living for 100 days without oil is to understand the extent of our dependance on oil in American society today. Specifically, how it will affect my life, as a 25 year-oil living in Minneapolis, MN. By using myself as a metric I can take a close and conscious look at where oil dependance occurs in all aspects of our daily lives : How we transport ourselves from one place to another, what we eat, how much waste we create, how water is cleaned and transported, where oil is used as; an energy resource, in conventional medicine and for hygiene and how oil affects how we entertain ourselves and communicate with others. By demonstrating how someone would be forced to live without using any oil resources, outlining both what the sacrifices will be as well as the benefits, we can can identify the many systems which will have to be re-designed in a world without cheap oil, and explore a new way of living in which we live in an energy balance.

(At the bottom of this page is a link to my version of a flow diagram of 'Where Petroleum Exists in Our Daily Lives' (using information from the Energy Information Administration-Annual Energy Review 2008 fig 5.0 Petroleum flow) click and zoom to enlarge)

Monday, August 30, 2010


28 August 2010

I wish I had some good pictures of today because I got to impose my lifestyle on my old roommate Beth for the weekend who was visiting from San Francisco!  I admit I had a couple slips, I HAD TO, HAD TO take her to my favorite restaurant in the city (Himalayan Restaurant on Franklin), definitely not local. 

We had a pretty perfect (almost) no oil day in Minneapolis.  Wake up to a breakfast at Common Roots (local restaurant close to my house), no coffee.  We walked to Hidden Beach (East Beach) on Cedar Lake.  It always surprises me how quickly you can walk places that I think are much farther away.  Because my bike is my primary form of transportation, I really don't walk anywhere farther than 5-6 blocks away.  Because of this, I always think it will take a long time to walk somewhere 1-2 miles away.  The walk to Hidden Beach is 1.8 miles and it only took us 35 minutes however.  Although our dinner wasn't local, we DID bike there (4+ miles away).  Minneapolis has one of maybe the largest bike rental program in the country (largest?) that was just started this summer here.
The program is definitely set up for people to take quick trips by bicycle instead of the bus, or car, or walking.  While you have to put a deposit down (up to $250?) the bikes are $5 a day if you keep each trip you take under 30 min.  This program isn't really helping people who can't afford cars to become more mobile (not everyone has $250 to deposit), and it isn't great for renting a bike for an afternoon if you are a visitor.  But you can take short trips for really cheap. 

I also drank my first green smoothie from the wedge today.  They use compostable cups, so I got one to see how long it takes to compost (or if it actually composts).  I cut it up into pieces except for the lid before throwing it in. The good thing about composting food containers is you don't have to rinse them!  Less water, more food for worms!  Speaking of the worms, the compost is slowly starting to lose its smell, you can no longer smell it without opening the top anymore, starting to smell more earthy. 


  1. It's so cool that you have a composter in your apartment that you can just throw stuff in! I'm kind of jealous-- my landlady would NOT be happy with me if I did that.

  2. i am dying to see how long it takes for one of the new sunchips bags to compost too. I know you can't buy them, but if your roomates or someone you know has one maybe you could try it, see if it lives up to the hype!

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