(Orangutan burnt alive in the process of clearing the jungle for palm oil plantations)
Palm oil is one of the most pressing and worrying problems on the climate change frontier. It’s cheap, has multiple uses and quick to produce, all of which are leading to the destruction of the Indonesian rain forest.
The product is used in lipstick, pizza dough, shampoo, ice cream, as a bio fuel, in soap and many more everyday products which is what makes it so popular. This is leading to massive areas of rain forest being burned to the ground to make space for palm oil plantations.
These rain forests are the last place on Earth where Elephants, Rhinos, tigers and Orangutan all live together in the same area. To lose this would be a genuine tragedy.
Not only does it have a horrendous effect on wildlife populations, it also releases massive volumes of CO2 into the atmosphere. Today, forest fires started to clear space for palm oil are spewing out more CO2 every day than the whole US economy combined.
How is this being allowed to happen? Large companies are bribing officials for licenses to burn down these rain forests and plant these trees. The companies are happy, the local governments are happy, the Orangutan are left to burn.
All is not lost, however! As always, there are multiple ways in which you can fight back and save these rain forests.
As with most problems facing the environment, profit is the driving factor of this destruction.
If you buy sustainably sourced palm oil products or don’t buy palm oil products at all, the whole problem is solved.
To begin with, look for either of these labels on the products you’re buying as they ensure that the palm oil used is either sustainably sourced or the companies are moving toward sustainability (not great but at least we’re moving in the right direction.)
Even better, avoid companies such as Doritos’s, Dominoes and Thornton’s, all of which have very poor records when it comes to palm oil use.
For more information on how to shop responsibly, please have a quick look at either of these sites:
Palm oil is a scary and violent reminder of just how much damage humans are doing the planet. If we work together, we can easily stop the damage being done and rescue such a valuable ecosystem from being razed to the ground.