BAN Palm Oil in Common Products!

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Palm oil is a common ingredient used in thousands of products that we use every day. From cosmetics and body wash to detergents to even processed food items, if you look on the packaging of anything you might find in your home, chances are that the ingredients list "palm oil" as one of them.

The problem with palm oil is that it is destroying the habitats of hundreds of species- including endangered orangutans- in the rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia, the top 2 producers of palm oil in the world. In order to grow palm oil, space needs to be cleared for oil palm plantations. Row after row of oil palm trees are grown in order to harvest the fruit from which the oil comes. However, these plantations are devastating for the natural rainforests that are burned as far as the eye can see, for millions of hectares. Most of the animals that live in these forests do not survive the raging infernos that destroy their homes. 

Not only are habitats lost for millions of animals and hundreds of different species, but the carbon dioxide that was once stored by trees, plants, and other vegetation in the rainforests is released back into the atmosphere when forests are burned, and in copious amounts. The rapid re-release of such a high amount of carbon dioxide has disastrous effects on the climate, and contributes to global warming. As well, the smoke from the fires makes the air so polluted that townsfolk living near the rainforests cannot breathe the air due to its poor quality. 

So, why do companies continue to use such a horrendously destructive ingredient in so many products? The answer is simple: Palm oil is known as the cheapest vegetable oil in the world. As well, big companies that use palm oil in their products pay large sums of money to the Government of Indonesia in order to receive permits to burn the forests. And, as of 2016, nearly 80% of Indonesia's natural rainforests have been taken over by palm oil plantations, and that number is becoming increasingly larger by the hour, a tragic loss for endangered wildlife and a huge red flag for the environment. 

But not all hope is lost, not yet. There is plenty of action you can take to stop big companies from burning the last of the rainforests in Indonesia, Malaysia, and beyond for their greed. I would like to encourage each and every one of you to take action by signing this petition, informing your friends and families about the devastation caused by palm oil, and being wise when choosing products by ensuring that they do not contain palm oil. The more word we spread, the more action we take, and the less money we as a collective society give to companies who use palm oil, the faster changes will be made for the better. Please, take action now. Do not stand by and let animals suffer, let habitats be lost, let global warming wreak havoc, and let the people breathe poisoned air. Instead, do all you can to keep our Earth green and to get palm oil out of our homes once and for all. 

Together, our little changes can make a big difference. 

 

Sources: 

"Before The Flood", 2016 https://vimeo.com/190012126 (Start video at 45:37 for palm oil section)

https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/palm-oil

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_oil

http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/Whats_the_issue.php (I just searched "how is palm oil made" and this is where I got that info from, but the site is disabled, so just Google the above query if you really care about the source of all my info.)

https://www.pwc.com/id/en/publications/assets/palm-oil-plantation-2012.pdf



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