Number 4-Heading

Friday, December 11, 2009

Just Say NO!

Did you know that the widespread use of palm oil and irresponsible palm oil production has been scientifically documented as a cause of substantial and irreversible damage to our natural environment?  The production of palm oil is a major contributor to the deforestation of the rainforests in Indonesia, Malaysia, Ecuador, Cameron and several other countries; habitat loss of critically endangered species; and an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil; "Orangutan habitats have been threatened by palm oil production. In 1900, there were around 315,000 orangutans. Today, fewer than 50,000 exist in the wild, split into small groups with little long–term chance of survival. Scientists say the palm oil industry is the biggest threat to orangutans, with the species driven to extinction within 12 years unless the devastation of their natural habitat is halted.” A report from the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says that palm oil production also promotes destruction of the rainforest, particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia.. Further loss of forest may push endangered animal species, including orangutans, Sumatran tigers, and Sumatran rhinos, into extinction.

Some environmentalists believe that in 15 years, over 98 % of the rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia will be gone unless drastic action is taken.

The expansion of oil palm plantations has almost always been preceded by the expropriation of land from small poor landholders by deceit or force with little or no payment whether the land has been in Indonesia, Ecuador, Cameroon or Costa Rica.

Even with the growth of the amount of sustainable palm oil that is available now manufacturers and retailers are not purchasing it. As with any product that is green the price tag is a bit higher and all but a few have decided not to invest in the health of the planet for fear of adding a few pennies onto the price of your chocolate or soap bars.

This is one of the few times I feel like I have to draw the line in the sand. It may cost me a few cents more to make a bar of soap but it will not take away from the quality of our soap,.I promise you that. I haven’t actually used any palm oil in the making of my soaps for almost a year. I have been researching this matter over a year and considering my options. Yes, I am a very small operation and in the scheme of things the amount of palm oil I buy will not devastate the planet, but the tree fell in the forest and I heard it.

"Consumers should understand that a seemingly small decision in this country—what kind of cookie, cracker, or hand lotion to buy—can have major consequences on the other side of the world.”.