Ever heard of palm oil? Go to your kitchen or bathroom and grab a food or personal hygiene product and check the label. I guarantee you will find it or a derivative listed in the active ingredients. It is a cheap, widely used edible vegetable oil found in chips, cookies, shampoos, make-up, and a thousand other things. Most palm oil comes from Asia and Africa and due to unsustainable farming practices, has led to the deforestation and destruction of the environment; most notably in Borneo and Sumatra. In the past 20 years, nearly 90% of the forests have been wiped out in these areas, causing the orangutans that inhabit it to now be classified as critically endangered. Without sustainable practices in place, the orangutan will be eliminated from the wild within the next decade.
What can you do? Start by checking the labels of the products you buy and only purchasing items that have no palm oil or use sustainable sourced oil (they will be labeled as RSPO). Boycott companies such as Starbucks and PepsiCo who continue to exploit the orangutan habitats for profit. A coffee or soda is not worth the destruction of our planet and the extinction of a species.
For more information, please visit saynotopalmoil.com. You can also find a list of products and alternative names for palm oil here.