Today is International Orangutan Day- which means today is the best time to learn about orangutans, palm oil, and how you can help. If you’re unfamiliar with the issue, you can reference our Conservation Clips series– a quick crash course with plenty of information about the palm oil issue and its poster child.
International Orangutan Day is an event intended not only to recognize the plight of our closest relatives, but to promote change as well. Awareness is not enough- saving orangutans, and preserving their habitat, requires action. Over the course of this week, to help protect orangutans, make a few changes to your daily life:
- Check the ingredients of various products on your grocery list. Palm oil is often subtle, and it may be hard to find in a product. Use PalmSmart or an aliases list for help, or just look for ingredients containing the words “palm”, “laur”, or “stear”- its most common disguises.
- Find alternatives! For any particular type of product, you will likely be able to find a brand that doesn’t contain palm oil derivatives. Products Without Palm Oil is a great resource for this, and has several safe brands listed for each of many product types.
- Tell others! Spreading awareness- and caring- is the best way to combat any environmental issue. Don’t be ashamed of avoiding unsustainable foods in front of your friends. Tell them why you’re helping save the rainforest, and show them that they can make a difference too.
- If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even contact a company using our handy form letter. Help make unsustainable companies aware of orangutans, too.
- And finally, if you’re in need of some motivation, check out Orangutan Jungle School– a delightful TV series which follows young orangutans as they’re rehabilitated at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rescue Center.
Thank you all for saving the rainforest this Orangutan Day.
Founder, The Orangutan Gang