Palm oil is big business. According to One Green Planet, more than 50 percent of all processed goods contained palm oil. Included on the list are products marketed as healthy, vegan, and organic products. This fact may come to a surprise to the people consuming these products, because the palm oil industry is destroying the environment. Non-sustainable palm oil companies are destroying forests, wiping out animal populations, and contributing to climate change. All of this makes a recipe for disaster, and our planet is suffering because of it. Here is only a short list of the perils of non-sustainable palm oil:
The tropical rainforests of Indonesia are among the most diverse and beautiful areas on the planet. This hasn’t stopped the Indonesian government from announcing plans to convert millions of hectares of it into palm plantations by the year 2020. These rainforests are not only home to animals, but people, too. The deforestation will leave these forest communities impoverished and destitute. The palm oil industry is even guilty of causing forest fires in order to clear areas for plantation, causing a severe haze that endangers both animals and people alike.
In order to make way for palm oil plantations, companies are draining organic wetland soils. This means that all the carbon naturally stored underwater is being exposed to the air, creating carbon dioxide emissions to rise into the atmosphere. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this process accounts for nearly six percent of the global fossil-fuel emissions, which makes it a serious threat to our climate. The forest fires I mentioned above also have a huge negative effect on climate change.
The Indonesian island of Sumatra is the last place on the planet where you can find such animals as the Sumatran Rhinoceros and Sumatran Elephant, both critically endangered species. Since their homes are being destroyed and they are being poached in order to make way for palm oil plantations, they are all on the brink of extinction. This news has caused an uproar in the global community, but the damage to these animals livelihood has already been done.
You may be wondering what you can do in order to prevent more of these environmental travesties from occurring. You don’t need to chain yourself to a tree in order to make a difference, you just need to make a statement with your wallet. Only purchase palm oil products from a sustainable source, or just avoid the product altogether. Never underestimate your power as a consumer!
At #WORLDHairSkin, we want to leave your hair and skin beautiful – but not at the expense of the environment. We are redefining beauty with professional hair care and skin care products using only all-natural sustainable ingredients. Our products are palm oil-free, gluten-free, and biodegradable. It’s just one small step in making #yourWORLD a better place to come home for humans, animals, and all living things.