Did you know that you can make a difference for orangutans in the wild by learning about eco-friendly shopping? Often times when we buy products in the grocery store, those items contain a lot of different ingredients and sometimes even with super complicated names like sodium dodecyl sulphate!

A lot of common ingredients used in grocery store products are harvested while destroying precious natural environments, so by avoiding those products we can support companies and products that use sustainable ingredients.

One of the most dangerous food industries affecting orangutans is palm oil. In order to produce palm oil, farmers will actually clear large sections of rainforest that orangutans call home. This type of oil is used in A LOT of different products like pizza dough, lipstick, ice cream, detergent, shampoo, and even chocolate! So does that mean we have to stop eating chocolate????? The answer is NO!

It isn’t all bad though, because palm oil is one of the most efficiently produced vegetable oils because it takes up much less land than any other type of vegetable oil. There is a growing number of farmers that have committed themselves to producing sustainable palm oil. The do so by adhering to strict guidelines on their farm operations that prevent farmers from causing more deforestation and destroying surrounding forest resources.

How Can I Buy Eco-Friendly Palm Oil?

Look for the following ingredients on products in the grocery store to see if the product includes palm oil:

  1. Cetyl Palmitate and Octyl Palmitate
  2. Elaeis Guineensis (Taxonomic name for palm oil)
  3. Hexadecylic or Palmitic Acid
  4. Hydrated Palm Glycerides
  5. Palm Oil Kernal
  6. Palmate
  7. Palmitate
  8. Anything with Palmitate at the end*

If it does include on the above ingredients, check to see if it has been certified by something called the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil or the RSPO. This organization works to ensure that palm oil plantations are working sustainably and not causing anymore environmental disruption than is needed. If the product does adhere to their guidelines it may even have one of the following seals on the label.

Credit: RSPO