Spooky Scary Sustainability

This Halloween, take a second look at your candy basket- because the scariest monster of all might be hiding inside.

Eager trick-or-treaters across the country are beginning to prepare for the spookiest day of the year- and after two years of quarantine, they’re finally ready to switch out their surgical masks for monster masks. But we aren’t the only ones getting ready for mischief- candy companies are gearing up too.

Earlier this year, a Rainforest Action Network investigation uncovered a deforestation scandal: Royal Golden Eagle, a forestry giant with ties to dozens of major brands, is sourcing palm oil from plantations in the protected Leuser Ecosystem. As one of the last safe havens of rare species like Sumatran rhinos, tigers, and elephants, this ecosystem- home to the “Orangutan Capital of the World”- is incredibly important in preserving biodiversity and the health of our global climate. By bulldozing and violating the Leuser Ecosystem, candy companies like Mondelēz International and Nestlé are going back on their promises, breaking Indonesian law, and destroying the future of hundreds of endangered species. And all that strife, perpetuated for cheap vegetable oil, will end up in your candy basket this Halloween.

The National Retail Federation estimates that American consumers will spend $3.1 billion this year on Halloween candy alone. And during your trick-or-treat routine, 600 football fields of rainforest will be burned and bulldozed. While you celebrate a scary good time, these animals are in real danger- and activists are fighting desperately to protect them.

You can join the fight.

First off, make sure the Halloween candy you hand out this year is palm oil free. As a consumer, you can vote with your wallet- boycotting unsustainable brands is a powerful reminder that what they’re doing is wrong. Products Without Palm Oil offers an incredibly comprehensive list of sustainable and unsustainable candy choices, which you can find below.

For quick reference, you can also use the Orangutan Gang’s infographic, which has a short list of sustainable and unsustainable options, plus some advice for Halloween parties.

halloween infographic background
Click to Begin

You can also remind these companies of the injustices they perpetuate in other ways. Use our quick and easy company form letter to let them know you care about the rainforest- and give them a fright.

Finally, and most importantly, spread the word. Sustainability can only catch on if people understand and care about an issue. Share this post with as many people as you can, and make sure your friends know about the palm oil issue. Use our resources- flyers, Halloween handout cards, and many more– to spread this message.

Let’s make this a green Halloween- together.

~Pangaea Finn
Founder, The Orangutan Gang

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