How to fight against the palm oil industry
The solution to palm oil and its destructive wake
Orangutans and many other species are clinging onto existence in the rainforests of Southeast Asia. Global warming is accelerating and we are experiencing extreme weather conditions around the world as a result. Every new palm oil plantation is another nail in the coffin for many of our beloved endangered animals and indeed another nail in the coffin for ourselves. The slash and burn deforestation used to clear vast expanses of land for palm oil plantations is responsible for 10% of the worlds greenhouse gas emissions.
How you can do your bit to recognise, avoid and fight palm oil
Eat home cooked meals and snacks
Many of the prepared meals and snacks available use palm oil as their vegetable oil of choice as it is the cheapest vegetable oil. When you make and prepare your own meals and snacks you are in 100% control of what ingredients you use, not only is the food going to taste better (on the most part!), it will be healthier and more environmentally friendly than the majority of commercial readymade meals and snacks.
Read the labels!
In December 2014 it was introduced in the EU that food products had to clearly list palm oil as an ingredient if it was the vegetable oil of choice in that particular product. It can be a little bit more tricky to avoid palm oil in non food items like cosmetics, manufacturers will often use a wide range of chemical names to mask the use of palm oil. We have an article about which chemical names to look out for when trying to avoid palm oil.
In retail the customer is king and money talks. Put pressure on retailers by asking them for palm oil free products if they have non in stock. Write to manufacturers of major products and ask them why they are not using other vegetable oils closer to home. You might not think that this would make a difference but you would be surprised. Companies spend allot of time and money marketing and branding their products and this makes them quite sensitive to issues that can give their brand negative press. Public pressure and increased awareness among consumers is already prompting a few manufacturers to decided against using palm oil. The more public pressure we apply then the more companies will stop stocking or producing products containing palm oil.
These days it is easier than ever to sign petitions and if petitions in certain countries get enough signatures then the governments of those countries have no choice but to debate that particular issue. Even if petitions do not get that far, online campaigns put pressure on manufacturers and policymakers they also help spread awareness and may encourage someone to go educate themselves on the effects of palm oil production.
Leave your car at home
The fuel for our cars now often contains a certain percentage of bio fuel, which is almost always palm oil. It is not always possible to avoid using a car completely but most of us are guilty of using our cars for journeys when we do not necessarily need to. If you can walk or ride a bicycle instead for selected trips then over time that can have a massive impact, especially the more people that do the same.
Be educated and educate others
Palm oil has become so dirty and so wide spread because the majority of people do not know what the production of palm oil entails. If you have not read it already read our article about the truth of palm oil for some more in depth information. Even sustainable palm oil is not so sustainable and bio fuels are not the eco friendly solution that big businesses and governments would like us to believe. Just by talking about palm oil to your friends and family may get them to rethink their own habits and they might go on to tell others. If enough people are educated then there will be enough people who care to stop the palm oil industries destruction.