Madison Vorva and Rhiannon Tomtishen

Girl scouts Rhiannon Tomtishen, left, and Madison Vorva, recipients of the first ever United Nations Forest Heroes Award

Urge the Girl Scouts to Make Their Cookies Deforestation-Free

Girl Scout cookies—as well as thousands of products including ice cream, toothpaste, and shampoo—contain palm oil. Most palm oil is produced in Indonesia and Malaysia, where tropical forests are being cleared to make room for palm oil plantations. Tropical forests are being lost at an alarming rate, with almost one acre of forest disappearing every second. This tropical deforestation accounts for about 15 percent of global warming emissions in the world today, and tropical forests are home to more than half of the world's plant and animal species, which will risk extinction if their homes are lost.

In 2010, the Union of Concerned Scientists joined forces with two girl scouts, Madison Vorva and Rhiannon Tomtishen, who have been pushing Girl Scouts of the USA to make their cookies deforestation-free by addressing their palm oil use. Over the last two years, we've written letters to the Girl Scouts organization and their cookie bakers, we've had phone calls and meetings with executives from the organization, and we've provided scientific and technical information to help Girl Scouts of the USA understand the issue. 

Yet, we still have not been able to inspire any truly rainforest-safe cookies from the Girls Scouts organization. They promised to buy GreenPalm certificates and to transition to sustainable palm oil in the future, but neither of those guarantees the cookies are deforestation-fee. And discussions on how the Girl Scouts of the USA can continue to evolve their policy to ensure cookies are deforestation-free have stalled. All Girl Scouts of the USA has done thus far is change what's written on the box, not change the actual ingredients they're buying.

Madison and Rhiannon have been campaigning for six years now without giving up. In fact, they've been so inspiring to us, that the Union of Concerned Scientists nominated them for the first ever United Nations Forest Heroes Award—and they won!

Join Madison, Rhiannon, and the Union of Concerned Scientists today and send a letter to Girl Scouts of the USA to let them know that you want to buy deforestation-free cookies!

The Girl Scouts organization must live up to its mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place—by allowing girl scouts everywhere to be true forest heroes by selling deforestation-free cookies.

Please make your letter personal by adding in your own thoughts and concerns. Every letter makes a difference, but customized letters have the greatest effect!

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Please send this message to Girl Scouts of the USA

Dear Girl Scouts of the USA,

Girl Scouts of the USA should source deforestation-free palm oil for its cookies or find an alternative ingredient that does not cause deforestation.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]