Do Your Cookies and Shampoo Contain "Deforestation"?
Orangutans are endangered because their homes—the tropical forests of Indonesia and Malaysia—are being cleared to make room for new palm oil plantations.
Palm oil is currently used in thousands of products we use every day, from baked goods to cleaning products to shampoo. Unfortunately, all that palm oil is being produced at a tremendous expense to our planet's tropical forests. These forests are being cleared at an alarming rate to make room for new palm oil plantations—and for every acre of trees that are cut down and burned, hundreds of tons of carbon dioxide are released into our atmosphere.
This deforestation causes about 10 percent of global warming emissions worldwide! And to make matters worse, more than half of all plant and animal species in the world live in those forests. With every acre cleared, those species get even closer to extinction.
The good news is that we have the power to change this story.
It is possible to grow palm oil without destroying tropical forests. Businesses can grow palm oil on degraded land instead of forested land and existing plantations can increase crop yields to avoid the need to further expand into forests.
In June 2012, the U.S. government announced a new joint initiative with the Consumer Goods Forum—a global network of manufacturers and retailers that includes major corporations such as Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola—to make ingredients, like palm oil, deforestation-free.
Please urge the CEOs of Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble, and Kraft Foods, who sit on the board of the Consumer Goods Forum, to ensure all the products made or sold by member companies globally are deforestation-free.
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!
Click here to read more about the Consumer Goods Forum's initiative and palm oil on our blog.
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