What is palm oil? Palm oil comes from the fruit of the African oil palm tree and is grown all over the world in warm and temperate climates.
Why are we talking about palm oil? Over half of our household products contain this commonplace oil, which is found in snack foods, shampoo, cosmetics, toothpaste, pet food, candy and even milk. This extremely popular product is grown all over the world, but a majority of the palm oil we use in our daily products comes from Indonesia, Sumatra and Malaysia. Indonesia, Sumatra and Malaysia are comprised of important, biodiverse rainforests that endangered species such as Sumatran orangutans, Sumatran tigers and Malayan sun bears call home.
As human population grows, so does the demand for this versatile and inexpensive product. To convert these properties to farmland, unsustainable farmers are destroying entire rainforests on the scale of 300 football fields every hour. As a result, these endangered species are losing their homes at a unprecedented rate.
YOU can start making simple steps to save orangutans, tigers and sun bears today! How? Shop sustainable! Download the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s palm oil app for your smartphone and use it when you shop! This is an easy way to find out quickly if products use sustainable palm oil that support companies that harvest palm oil in a way that helps protect animals and their habitats. You can also look for the Orangutan Friendly Palm Oil and RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil™ logos on products you buy. If you don’t find these logos on your favorite products, let the companies know! Write to encourage a switch to sustainable palm oil. If your favorite companies have already switched to sustainable palm oil, give them a public pat on the back on your own social networks.
Conservation Education Initiatives Supervisor