Intersectional Environmentalism & Black Lives Matter

The new Intersectional Environmentalism movement encourages conservationists to take part in the fights for social and environmental justice. Image credit: Leah Thomas

Intersectional Environmentalism is a growing movement calling on conservationists to commit to addressing environmental and social justice issues within the framework of sustainability. Intersectional environmentalism operates on the following tenets:

  • No environmental organization should minimize or silence social and environmental justice concerns.
  • Social and environmental justice are a fundamental part of sustainability.
  • Working to promote environmental and social justice does not mean that environmentalists are unable to focus on “other issues” like conservation of wildlife or habitat.

After reading Leah Thomas’s article on why environmentalists need to be actively anti-racist, I was inspired to amplify The Orangutan Gang’s response to both the Black Lives Matter and the Intersectional Environmentalism movements. Social justice as well as environmental stability are pillars of sustainability, and as conservationists we need to look beyond our narrowed viewpoints to promote a more holistic view of sustainability activism. This includes within the framework of the palm oil issue.

The fight for palm oil sustainability is also a fight for social and environmental justice, both for workers on palm oil plantations who experience human rights abuses and are not provided adequate worker protections and for Indigenous communities whose homes are disrupted by plantations. Aiming for sustainable palm oil means that we are aiming not only for palm oil produced without threat to rainforest and endangered species, but also for palm oil produced equitably for everyone involved.

You can learn more about Intersectional Environmentalism and why conservationists should support social justice and Black Lives Matter on the Intersectional Environmentalist website.

Thank you for saving the rainforest and pressing for environmental justice today.

Pangaea Finn, Founder and Director

International Orangutan Day

Image Credit: World Orangutan Events

Today is International Orangutan Day, a yearly event dedicated to raising awareness and support for critically endangered orangutans. And this year, orangutans need our help more than ever as the palm oil industry continues to relentlessly destroy their rainforest home.

Today is a day to take action. You can help save orangutans using any of the methods below.

  • Contact companies. You can pressure companies to improve their palm oil policies by contacting them with a form letter or signing a petition.
  • Raise awareness. This can range from large commitments like info booths and webinars to small, everyday actions like sharing information with your friends or on social media.
  • Educate yourself. Learn more about orangutans in the video linked below.
  • Educate others. You can use resources like our new online lesson plan to educate students in your community about palm oil, orangutans, and conservation.

Thank you for saving the rainforest today!

~Pangaea Finn, Founder and Director

New Online Lesson Plan!

We at the Orangutan Gang are proud to release a new, fully online lesson plan! This lesson plan allows teachers and students of all educational levels to learn safely and remotely in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers can mix and match from four activities which include fillable online worksheets, video-based forums, and an educational video about the palm oil issue. Students not only learn about orangutans and palm oil, but also find palm oil containing products around their home, participate in thoughtful online discussions, and plan their own conservation projects. The Teachers Guide for this new lesson plan can be found here.

Please spread the word around your community about our new lesson plan so students have the chance to learn about the palm oil issue. Thank you for saving the rainforest today!

~The Orangutan Gang

Newsletter 2020.2

We are proud to announce the release of our fifth newsletter, Issue 2020.2! This issue’s theme is couch conservation, and includes information about making a difference without needing to sit up. You can also take on a rainforest challenge, meet Orangutan Supporter Kai, learn more about a featured product, catch up on the latest conservation news, and check out an interview with Madi Vorva, the co-leader of a successful eight-year campaign to remove palm oil from Girl Scout cookies. Sign up today to receive our newsletter via email.

Thank you for saving the rainforest today!

~Pangaea Finn, Founder and Director