Palm oil is a vegetable oil used in most household products. The creation of it is causing the Sumatran and Bornean rainforests to diminish. This rapid habitat loss has already caused the orangutan to go from an endangered species to a critically endangered species; the orangutan is on the brink of extinction. When these oil palm plantations are created, primary rainforests are slashed burned, releasing copious amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These tremendous CO2 emissions are the source of 10-20% of global greenhouse gas emissions. If the palm oil industry eradicates the third largest rainforest in the world, it will inhibit our ability to filter carbon dioxide out of our own atmosphere. Although it is nearly impossible to eliminate palm oil from our daily use, we can still create change by supporting companies who practice sustainable methods in growing their palm oil, companies who grow trees on land already used instead of cutting down primary forests.
Palm oil makes ice cream creamy and smooth.
Palm oil helps both frozen and fresh pizza dough enhance their texture and also from sticking together.
Palm oil helps restore the natural oils in hair that are removed by most other shampoos.
Palm oil is free of trans fat and is also solid at room temperature, which is great for butter.
Palm oil is included in soaps, washing powder, shampoo, and other cleaning products.
Palm oil has a high melting point so it helps keep the chocolate from melting. It also creates a smooth and shiny appearance to chocolate.
Palm oil gives baked goods a smooth and velvety taste and texture.
Palm oil has an ability to remove dirt and oil from your body as well as helps you moisturize.
and so much more...
There are many products that use palm oil that are not clearly labeled. Palm oil and its derivaties appear under many names, but they all contain palm oil.
Humans will not be without consequence if they continue on this trajectory of deforestation.
The rainforest regulates the quality of the planet’s air, water, and climate. This massive ecosystem is already almost gone; if it disappears, it cannot be grown back. A monoculture of oil palm trees depletes the nutrients in the soil, floods the local villages due to erosion, and eliminates all of the wild animals within it. You may not think this affects your daily life, or be any reason for concern, except for the unlucky rhinos, tigers, and orangutans, but humans will not be without consequence if we continue on this trajectory of deforestation. The rainforest works as a carbon dioxide filter for the globe. Without the rainforests, we will lose the quality of our air, water, climate, and life.
Burning to remove the rainforests is releasing copious amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It is not only removing the planet’s air filter, but the peat swamp that the tropical rainforest sits on is packed with CO2. The atmosphere holds this greenhouse gas and is changing the Earth’s climate. Burning the rainforest to grow our palm oil is not only affecting our atmosphere, it is burning the animals inside them.
119,315 orangutans remaining
It is estimated that 104,700 bornean orangutans are left on the island of Borneo and 14,615 left on the island of Sumatra. These two islands are the only two places where orangutans are naturally found. 31.6% of dry land is allocated for use of oil palm plantations. Palm oil is used in bath, food, and cleaning products globally, and it is contributing to the extinction of not just orangutans, but to every animal who shares its forest. The production of palm oil also contributes to local and global human suffering. This rapid clearing of the world's most diverse rainforests will also destroy one of the world's largest filter of carbon dioxide.
Indonesia and Malaysia are the only two countries in the world orangutans are found and the world has put a target on their only home. The protection of this ecosystem is not being controlled by the local government due to the amount of funds other countries are funneling into the plantations, countries like the United States. These tropical rainforest span the equator crossing South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Palm oil grows best in this type of humid lowland forest. The Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests are being used for the planting of oil palm plantations more than any other country in the world.
Orangutan population have drastically decreased over the past 100 years.
The use of palm oil is predicted to
double by 2020.
Indonesia and Malaysia are the number one suppliers of palm oil.
Not all hope is lost! There are companies who choose to avoid supporting cheap, fast growth of their palm oil. Plantations who reuse the already deforested land are growing sustainable palm oil. RSPO helps you know if you are buying a product with sustainably sourced palm oil.
Have questions? Feel free to contact us for more information!