Day 49: No more palm oil! (Part 3)

Palm oil is bad news, and now you know where to find it.  Part 3 takes a look at how you can face the tricky task of substituting palm oil-ladden products for ones that are sustainable, therefore promoting the well-being of orangutans, tigers, and rhinoceros.

It’s always important to keep our objective in focus, so here’s another picture to start this part off.

3244891359_e4b99473a2

Sumatran Rhinocerus. Source: Wiki Commons/Willem V Strien at http://flickr.com/photos/21150935@N07/3244891359

What a beauty, eh? Remember: your hard work is helping save these precious animals. Remember that when it gets tough to buy ecologically-correct products. Saving the planet is a lot of hard work, unfortunately. But it’s got to be done, for the planet’s sake.

Luckily, these tricks make it easier.

  1. Make it yourself: Products that are harbringers of doom (containing palm oil that comes from destroying the rainforest) are often food that isn’t good for you anyways: snacks, sweets, cookies, ice cream, candy bars. To avoid buying into rainforest destruction, you can simply stop consuming them, or make the cookies yourself. From scratch. That’s a sure way to avoid palm oil.
  2. Check everything for PALM OIL, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, VEGETABLE OIL, or SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE. Prefer products that don’t have any of those four.
  3. Download a safe-consumer app. GoodGuide is a terrific smartphone app that lets you scan products and see how well they do on a scale of 1-10, healthwise (those of you that knew GoodGuide before 2016, they used to rate products not only based on health, but on social and environmental sustainability. Now, it’s solely based on health.). The GoodGuide will let you filter products that are certified non-animal tested, which is also terrific for environmental purposes, and will let you filter products that are in the Safer Choice Program (generally more environmentally friendly than the ones that are not).
  4. Products that are in the organic/natural food stores are also likely to be more sustainable. You can also try checking the “green” aisle of your supermarket.
  5. Write down which products work for you. Does that LUSH palm-oil free soap work for you? Great. How about using coconut or olive oil instead of vegetable oil? Mixed results, maybe? (Budget is definitely a factor here). Does Dr. Bronner’s magic do-all soap, which contains palm oil grown sustainably in Ghana (where this palm is from originally) do the trick? It happens to be a great camping solution for me.

Different things will work out for different people. It’s impossible to cut palm oil all at once, unless you want to bake and make everything from scratch (by all means, go for it if you have the time!). For me, I know I can cut out snacks/junk food, make my own cookies, look for dish and laundry detergents that don’t have palm oil, and start substituting my shampoos and soaps for products that don’t have palm oil (and you can bet that I’ll be blogging about it when I find good fits). Toothpaste is going to be a little tricky, but. . .challenge accepted.

How about you, what can you do? Do you have any ideas I didn’t list?

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