What’s YOUR Connection To Rainforest Destruction?

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What would you do if you knew that rainforest destruction could be found in nearly every room of your home?

Rainforest destroying palm oil is an ingredient in roughly 50% of all packaged goods sold on grocery store shelves. It is used to make a wide variety of food products from cookies to breakfast cereals as well as cosmetics, soaps and detergents, and is largely responsible for the decimation of Indonesia’s precious endangered forests. In fact, the expansion of palm oil plantations is one of the biggest causes of rainforest destruction and carbon pollution in the world today.

We need these forests far more than we need palm oil. That’s a fact.

The infographic below shows exactly how pristine rainforests get turned into palm oil plantations, how they make their way onto our grocery store shelves and into our homes, and what we can do about it.

palm oil infographic

Click to view full-size infographic

Until recently very few people had even heard of palm oil — much less understood its connection to deforestation, species extinction and climate change. As public awareness about the problem with palm oil gains momentum, agribusiness giants like Cargill are starting to feel the pressure to transform how business is done in the palm oil industry. But the truth is, most people still have no idea that a huge percentage of the products they bring into their homes contain palm oil connected to the destruction of rainforests.

Knowledge is power. Please share this infographic with your friends and family so we can build the necessary consumer demand for change. Email it, blog it, tweet it, Facebook it. Thank you.

15 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. pablo bryant says:

    This graphic is a great idea. The only thing I would add is a link to send Cargill a message at the bottom of the graphic. Also, maybe a list of alternatives choices over major palm oil products (just thinking outloud now). I am a cameraman working mostly on documentaries and I am interested in creating the kind of simple, striking and direct messages that your graphic conveys about the absurd disconnection to nature that is fostering the reckless exploitation. I would gladly offer my services to RAN for any video projects that you might need.
    Thanks for your work.

  2. Hillary Lehr says:

    Thanks Pablo! Your support is very appreciated. If you’d like to sign up for action alerts on our palm oil work, you can do so by signing a petition to Cargill here: http://act.ran.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=4632&track=homepage

  3. MDbiker says:

    Cookies people! Notice in Europe now big change in that cookies no longer made with palm oil. Check the ingredients – don’t buy cookies that contain palm oil – send a message – one package at a time. Also – palm oil is super bad for you – so this helps eating healthier too.

  4. Silvia says:

    RAN, this is great!! Pablo (see above) I love your ideas for getting the message out. I hope RAN has some work for you to do (-: Meanwhile, I will make sure that this image is making it around the globe.

  5. Brian Hicks says:

    As consumers we should avoid palm oil, period? You say we need to “…transform how business is done in the palm oil industry”. Is large scale, sustainable palm oil production possible? Are there products containing palm oil grown in less destructive ways and, if so, how would we know what those products are?
    Thank you.
    - Brian

  6. Sallie Kate says:

    Pablo and Brian raise an important question – either: is there something less destructive that could be used in these products instead of palm oil,
    or, can palm oil be raised (elsewhere?) that does not cause such destruction?

  7. Terrie says:

    Does Palm oil go by another name in packaged goods? thnks so much for spreading this awareness, and what a good idea to tell the whole story about palm oil with this graphic.

  8. Georgia says:

    Palm oil provides jobs for millions of poor indonesian workers. Although i am strongly against the destruction of rainforests, i think cutting out palm oil is not the way to go. Millions of hectares of land lie unused in indonesia. Instead of telling companies to stop producing palm oil, we should be telling them to use this land that will otherwise be wasted to grow their plantations. This has would also help by continuing to provide work for indonesians.

  9. mem says:

    awesome graphic!

    but…what happened to the full size? says it can’t be found :(

  10. Martha says:

    Hi @mem. We fixed the broken links. Sorry about that! Here is again: http://understory.ran.org/palmoilgraphic/

  11. cay says:

    How about some brand names using palm oil? I’ll start with those until I’m more sensitive toward checking ingredients and I’ll write letters. Thanks!

  12. Carol Nash says:

    This is a message for Pablo, who I really hope will see this message. I am a still photographer and am very interested in donating my time/resources to save the orangs. I am based in San Francisco and need to find someone (asap) who can help me put together a youtube video to fundraise for the orangs. Can you help?Please?

    Terrie re your question about palm oil containing other names, the answer is a loud and resounding yes. Among some of the more common names are: palmate,hydrated palm glycerides, and glyceral stearates.

  13. Esther says:

    There must be a lot of interests around this. It is hard for me to believe that in the US – an authority could not stop companies that are doing things wrong.. same thing happens in the cosmetics industry.
    We need to get involved, get informed and STOP buying products from Companies that are not ethical.

  14. Esther says:

    We can make changes! one step, one product at a time! Like US in Facebook @beauitiful you beautiful planet.

  15. Lauren says:

    is there any palm oil that is available on the market that does not come from this questionable and cruel background?

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