Be conscious of palm oil’s impacts, and strive to choose wisely

From a news article I read last month: “Few ingredients highlight the planet-friendly dilemma more than palm oil. Found in everything from margarine to ice-cream, this ubiquitous vegetable oil is natural and plant-based, yet it’s also linked with the destruction of vast tracts of rainforest.”

And that about sums it up:

  • Global demand for palm oil has skyrocketed; it’s used in just about everything, including biofuels
  • Global production of palm oil has skyrocketed, particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia
  • A significant consequence has been the clearing of tropical rainforest, the lungs of the planet, to make way for palm oil plantations

So what’s a caring consumer to do?

  • Look for the logo of the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPOPalmOil) on the products you buy; it’s an indicator of sustainably-produced palm oil. If you can’t find it, look for the Green Palm logo, indicating products in transition to sustainable palm oil.
  • Check out the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Palm Oil Scorecard to see how your favourite brands are doing
  • Learn the real story of palm oil through this interactive website from the Guardian

And then do your best to make wise choices!

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Ecosia and The Rainforest Site

Trees are among our best allies against climate change: they absorb carbon dioxide and lock it up as wood fibre.  In the process, they produce the oxygen we inhale and purify the air we breathe.

Not everyone has the time or place to plant a tree – but you can support trees and forests every time you browse the internet:

  • Use org as your default internet search engine, because every search helps fund the planting of trees – over 7.5 million so far!
  • Set The Rainforest Site as your web browser default home page. With a simple click, you can preserve one square meter of rainforest each day – a small amount, but last year, enough people clicked to preserve 3600 hectares of rainforest!

And, if you do happen to have the time and space, May is the perfect time to plant or transplant a tree!

With a simple click, you can save a square meter of rainforest every day

Most of us don’t think about which website opens when we start our internet browser every day; it’s usually Facebook, MSN or something similar.  But we can use our first click of the day to help preserve the planet’s rainforests.

Here’s how: make the Rainforest Site, www.therainforestsite.com, the home page you start from every day.  Then just click the box “Click here to give – it’s FREE”.  And with that simple action, you’ve preserved just over a square meter of the world’s rainforests, the lungs of the planet that can absorb back some of the CO2 ‘exhaled’ by our burning of fossil fuels.

It’s not much, but those square meters add up – over 100,000 people click the site every day, and nearly 30,000 hectares have been preserved so far.

The land is paid for by sponsors who advertise on the Rainforest Site.  If you visit, you’ll also see similar sites in support of breast cancer, hunger, literacy and more – all causes you can support with the simple click of a mouse.

You can make The Rainforest Site your home page by going to it, then clicking Tools – Internet Options – General – Use current.