Take the Stand.ie Palm Oil challenge!
Consumers are becoming more aware of the horrific impacts of the palm oil industry on indigenous communities and biodiversity. This means companies are waking up too and slowly changing their policies to reflect the demands of the consumer. When enough people act, companies notice!
Play your part by taking our palm oil challenge!
Step 1 – Ditch unethical palm oil products
Get to know the different names palm oil can go by, and check if what you usually buy contains palm oil. Ten of the more common names to watch out for are vegetable fat, vegetable oil, stearic acid, glyceryl, palmate, palmitic acid, stearate, sodium lauryl sulfate, palmityl alcohol, and elaeis guineensis.
Get the full list of sneaky palm oil names at Palm Oil Investigations
You might be be surprised by the types of products that contain palm oil: they include biscuits and crackers, breakfast cereals, crisps, chocolates, cleaning products, hair care products, make-up, ice cream, noodles, skin care products, soaps and toothpaste.
So the bad news is Oreos, Pringles and Head n Shoulders are out due to their uncertified palm oil usage. The good news is that Lindt, Nutella, and Neutrogena are all in due to using either certified palm oil or palm oil with a no deforestation policy. And companies such as Marks & Spencer have been praised for leading the way in their use of sustainable palm oil.
Check out this list here and learn which products use certified palm oil so that you can make better choices in the supermarket.
Step 2 – Lobby versus boycott – or both?
The issue isn’t as black and white as it may seem as many communities in the Global South depend on palm oil to keep their economy going. Many NGOs and rescue teams want more regulation, not an outright ban.
If you do wish to boycott, here are some suggestions for products that are completely palm oil free:
- Palm Free Irish Soap sell beautiful products online.
- Check out Palm Oil Investigations list of certified palm oil free products, most of which will ship internationally, such as Evohe and Captain Chocolate.
- Lush and The Body Shop have great palm oil free initiatives and sustainable products.
Lobbying takes the pressure off consumers, as avoiding palm oil is difficult due to its abundant use. Governments and businesses have the power to make a big change in the industry.
Step 3 – Act
Replace products containing palm oil with more ethical versions or even make your own – Jenni Raincloud has a great online blog with lots of recipes and demos.
Or, if you believe lobbying for sustainable palm oil is a better option, then write to governments or local and big businesses urging them to cease the use of products containing unsustainable palm oil. Choose a shop or brand to work on. Can you meet with a manager? Start a petition?
Send a message to those in power that we will not accept anything less from our products than the sustainable and ethical use of palm oil.
Let us know how you got on with the challenge by commenting on our Facebook page