Hello and welcome back! This week’s SBC task is to talk about our earth! April 22nd 2020 marks 50 years of Earth Day. This means that for half a century we have been celebrating the earth and spreading awareness about the several different things going on that can effect not only our futures, but also that of our planet. It’s my job as a participant in this blogging challenge to spread awareness about one specific topic surrounding the earth. I’ve chosen to research palm oil deforestation.
In almost every piece of commercially produced food, exported all around the world, palm oil is an ingredient. Not only is it a main ingredient in food, it’s also used in cosmetics, and as a frying oil. While the product can be beneficial in things such as biofuel, which is a sustainable renewable energy, the path to farming palm oil causes immense environmental degradation. Roughly 4% of the worlds greenhouse gas emission and 8% of all global emissions are contributed to by palm oil harvesting. Not only does it contribute to global pollution, it also destroys habitats for a vital keystone species, the orangutan.
Over 3.5 million hectares, or 80% of Southeast Asian, more specifically Malaysian and Indonesian forests have been wiped out for palm oil production. That 80% counts for more than just trees. It’s the home of the critically endangered orangutan. The population of orangutans is continuously decreasing at rapid paces and has been for the past two decades. Sumatran Orangutauns have the lowest population with roughly 7,500 left. The biggest question is how can we help to stop the extinction of these animals. By purchasing products that contain palm oil, we help the business and allow for more deforestation. Deforestation often leads to poaching and ample more illegal activity. The point is, you can help. Try to find alternative products that don’t contain palm oil. Check the ingredients label before you purchase any items. And finally, spread awareness on this subject. It’s important that people understand where the things in their Nutella, shampoo, ice cream, laundry detergent, and more!
A few years ago I came across an advertisement that was released in Iceland, a country where palm oil is banned. They have moved away from private label companies that use palm oil in order to help stop corporations from destroying rain forests. The advertisement really gets the message through to the viewer and before seeing it, I thought very little of the massive issue that is palm oil production. Take the ad’s message into consideration and spread awareness by sharing it with people you know.
Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk
Hi Ciara —
It’s Teri again. I thought your Earth Day post was OUTSTANDING!! I had no idea that palm oil harvesting was endangering orangutauns. You definitely taught me something — THANK YOU!
Your post was well researched and informative. In your research, did you come across an alternatives to using palm oil? Or ways to harvest palm oil without destroying the forests? After reading your post I plan on reading labels to see how many things I use or consume contain palm oil, and then see if I can find alternatives.
Teri — #stubc commentor
Hi again Teri!
Thank you for the positive feedback, it always appreciated! In doing this post I also learned so much. I already had some background knowledge on the subject of orangutan endangerment and the harvesting of palm oil so I figured this was another way to spread awareness! In recent years my family has been working hard to avoid using as much palm oil and there are loads of alternatives out there! Most products that are commercially produced contain traces of palm oil. Specifically things like chocolate, ice cream, cosmetics, detergents, and pre-packaged foods. Using all natural or even vegan alternatives is one way of effectively reducing your palm oil intake. Unfortunately there isn’t much out there on the idea of safely harvesting palm oil. To get the oil requires the taking down of the trees which not only leads to massive deforestation but also to illegal activities like poaching.
It’s a very controversial subject and it certainly deserves much more awareness. Any way that you can do your part in taking care of the earth is important so thank you for trying to make changes in your palm oil intake!
Thanks again Teri