Petrochemicals. You might not have heard of them, but you certainly use them every day. These chemicals, made from oil, are in almost everything – plastics, medicines, clothes, toothpaste, even the insulation in your home. 

So how can we decarbonize an industry that makes such a pervasive product? 

This week, we spoke with climate solutions expert Deborah Gordon about how we can cut carbon emissions from the petrochemicals industry. And producer Alexandria Herr and Melissa Lott go on a mission to become zero-waste influencers – and find the petrochemicals hidden in their everyday lives.

Guest: Deborah Gordon is a senior principal in the Climate Intelligence Program at the Rocky Mountain Institute.

The Big Switch is produced by Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy in partnership with Post Script Media. This episode was produced by Alexandria Herr and Daniel Woldorff. Theme music and mixing by Sean Marquand. Story editing by Anne Bailey. A special thanks to Natalie Volk, Kirsten Smith and Kyu Lee. Our executive editor is Stephen Lacey.