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Why you should never consume palm oil again?

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There’s always a drama regarding palm oil consumption and in this post we will uncover why.

Palm oil isn’t unhealthy for human consumption, but it’s production is deadly for the environment and for our planet. Biggest plantations of palms are situated in Malaysia and Indonesia.

The question is why isn’t good to use palm oil?

Huge number of rain forests are slashed and burned in order to provide space for palm plantations. That is harmful in many ways –  firstly because of carbon-dioxide – we all know that trees are storages for carbon-dioxide and they are turning it into oxygen… So those huge areas that are producing oxygen are cut down at once and all the carbon that was trapped in the trees and in the ground is released to the atmosphere. Also, a lot of fertilizers and pesticides are used for palm oil plantations, which are polluting the ground and harming underground waters.

Second, it is harmful for the animals because rainforests are natural habitats for many species.

Most of the species are underaged species as Sumatran tiger, rhino, elephant, Sumatran orangutan, etc.  Most of the animals can’t survive in other areas, especially because they’re forced to move to smaller areas where they can come in contact with humans and become easier pray for hunters. During the mass clearings of forests a lot of animals are burnt alive.

There are associations that are helping all injured animals in these rainforests, and trust me – the images of injured animals are shocking.  (all links to the organizations will be at the end of this article).

Where can you find palm oil?

– Everywhere. Palm oil can literally be found everywhere – in food, cosmetics, makeup, cleaning supplies, etc. Restaurants are also using palm oil a lot because it is reusable. When I heard about palm oil issue, I went to my storage room and checked all the labels on the items and guess what..? More than 60% contained palm oil. So that is the answer why people are cutting huge areas of forests to make space for palm plantations. Basically, what I understood so far, everything that has creamy and consistent texture is most likely to contain palm oil.

Palm oil can be found under many different names, and these are the most common ones:

1. Elaeis guineensis
2. Etyl palmitate
3. Glyceryl
4. Hydrogenated palm glycerides
5. Octyl palmitate
6. Palm fruit oil
7. Palm kernel
8. Palm kernel oil
9. Palm stearine
10. Palmate
11. Palmitate
12. Palmitic acid
13. Palmitoyl oxostearamide
14. Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3
15. Palmityl alcohol
16. Palmolein
17. Sodium kernelate
18. Sodium laureth sulfate
19. Sodium lauryl lactylate/sulphate
20. Sodium lauryl sulfate
21. Sodium palm kernelate
22. Stearate
23. Stearic acid
24. Vegetable fat
25. Vegetable oil

Also, on the labels of some products you can find certificates that indicate that they consist sustainable palm oil, or the producer is transferring from palm oil to another solution. These are the certificates:

 

 

So, what can we do? 

individually, not much. But if people would gather together the result could be positive. Firstly, we can try to reduce products that contain palm oil at least. Boycott is always a good option because as long as there is a demand, there would be an offer and the other way arround – if people boycott a particular product, producers will have to find better solution.

You can also write to the producer of your favourite product, it’s free and it is the smallest effort you can give, who knows – if they get enough emails from their clients, they might change something.

 

References and useful links: 

http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/issues/forests

https://www.rainforesttrust.org

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/palm_oil/environmental_impacts/

https://www.rainforest-rescue.org

 

 

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Olimpijske Igre 2016 – “Zelena” poruka iz Rija

Krajem prošle nedelje, ceo svet bio je skoncentrisan na jedno mesto na planeti – Rio.

31. Olimpijske Igre zvanično su otvorene predivnom šarenom ceremonijom, gde smo mogli videti stotine sportista kako predstavljaju svoju zemlju.

Ali postoji jedna stvar koja je zapala za oko meni, kao i mnogim ljudima koji su pratili otvaranje, a to je – ekološka poruka domaćina.

U drugom delu otvaranja, gde su se u paradi predstavile sve zemlje (Parade of Nations), svi sportisti su sadili seme nade (Seed of hope), tako što su stavljali semenje brazilskih domaćih vrsta drveta u crne “ketridže” na velikim kulama od ogledala.

Biljke koje su nosila deca, koja su učestvovala u ceremoniji pored nosilaca zastave, bila je u stvari ista, koja će izrasti iz semena koje su sportiste posadile.

“U kule, koje su do pre par momenata simbolizovale urbanu klaustrofobiju, stavljene su semenke koje će prerasti u šumu sportista u delu Deodoro. To će biti zaveštanje Olimpijskih igara u Riju” – objašnjeno je na zvaničnom sajtu Olimpijade.

Mogli smo da vidimo da se na kraju drugog dela ceremonije vrhovi staklenih kula menjaju u zelenilo koje ocrtava pet olimpijskih krugova. Poruka je jasna, a ideja i kreativnost koja stoji iza svega je fascinantna. Na ovaj način sportisti ostavljaju svoj trag.

Ali to nije jedina poruka koja dolazi od Olimpijskih igara, jer ovaj događaj utiče mnogo više na očuvanje životne sredine nego što mislimo i što se o tome govori.

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Dakle šta Olimpijada čini na zaštiti životne sredine?

U današnje vreme, zaštita životne sredine je esencijalni deo modernih olimpijskih Igara. Broj ljudi koji učestvuje u ovom događaju je impresivan jer više od 100.000 učestvuje u kompletnoj realizaciji olimpijskih igara, bez posetilaca. Prema tome, misija očuvanja životne sredine u toku igara je prilično veliki izazov.

Oni vode računa i rade na usavršavanju u domenu energije, vode, upravljanja otpadom, efikasnog transporta i etičke nabavke.

Preduzimanje mera i svesnost zaštite okoline podrazumevaju tretiranje i čuvanje vode, upotrebu obnovljive energije, kvalitet vazduha i transport, protekciju zemljišta i ekosistema, ekološki dizajn i gradnju, pošumljavanje, biodiverzitet i upravljanje čvrstim otpadom.

Što se tiče transporta tokom igara, obezbeđen je prevoz najkraćim putem do odredišta, alternativnim vidovima energije, čime je obezbeđen najniži nivi zagađenja ugljendioksidom.

Takođe postoji i ekološki plan gradnje, u cilju smanjenja negativnog uticaja na okolinu. Ideja je bila da se umanji izgradnja novih objekata, tako što polovina već postoji, a druga se gradi na način da posle igara ima svoju upotrebu.

Drugi napori koju su preduzeti u cilju ekološke izgradnje su: kompaktni dizajni, upotreba recikliranih i obnovljivih izvora, smanjenje emisije ugljenika, racionalizacija potrošnje vode, poboljšanje energetske efikasnosti i očuvanje postojeće vegetacie. Takođe se upotrebljavaju sistemi za oporavak životne sredine za svaku oblast grada gde se igre održavaju.

Na kraju, za oduševljenje je kada važni događaji ili ljudi koriste svoj publicitet u dobre i korisne svrhe i promovišu nešto pozitivno. Ovaj događaj je sigurno poslao jaku poruku celoj planeti i upotrebio svoj publicitet u najboljem mogućem smislu.

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Olympic Games Rio 2016 – Green message to the world

At the end of this week, the whole world was concentrated at one place on this planet – Rio de Janeiro.

Games of the 31st Olympiad were officially opened, followed by stunning colorful ceremony where we  have seen dozens of athletes representing their countries.

There is certainly one thing that came to my eye and to the eyes of the world – their sustainable message.

Athletes  who were participating in the Parade of Nations were planting “Seeds of Hope” by placing seeds of native trees of Brazil into the cartridges in the large mirror towers.

The plant that each kid was carrying beside the athletes who were holding the flags  was a mature version of trees that athletes planted.

“The towers which moments ago symbolized urban claustrophobia will house the seeds, which will grow into the Athletes’ Forest in the area of Deodoro. This will be Rio 2016’s legacy,” the official website of the Olympics explained.

We could see at the end of the Parade of Nations, the top of the towers were rearranged into five Olympic rings. The message is clear and the idea and creativity behind that is stunning! This way all the athletes could leave their mark behind.

But that is not the whole message coming from the Olympic Games, this event is doing much more for the environment than we think and than it has been told.

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So what do the Olympics do for the environment?

Nowadays sustainability is an essential part of modern Olympic Games.  The number of people who participate into making the event is impressive since there is more than 100.000 people involved in delivering the Games, without the visitors expected. So the sustainable mission of the Olympic Games is quite challenging. They take care and work on improvements in energy, water, waste management, more efficient transport and ethical supply chains.

Their environmental awareness include water treatment and conservation, use of renewable energy, air quality and transportation, protection of soils and ecosystems, sustainable design and construction, reforestation, biodiversity and solid waste management.

In terms of transportation during the Games in order to manage carbon footprint, several kinds of public transportation are provided, clean fuels and the shortest routes are being used.

There was also a sustainable plan for construction in order to minimize environmental impacts.

The idea was to minimize constructions of new venues so half of the venues that are used already exist, and the other half is constructed in a way so that they can be moved around and reused after the Games. Other efforts of sustainable construction that are undertaken are making compact designs, using recycled or renewable sources, reducing carbon emissions, rationalizing use of water, improving energy efficiency, minimizing removal and transplantation, preserving existing patches of vegetation, etc.  Also environmental recovery systems are used for each area where the Games are held, as well as monitoring air, water and noise pollution.

Finally, it amazes me when famous events or  people use their publicity in the right way – promoting something healthy. This event surely sent a very strong message to the whole world and used their publicity in the most appropriate way.

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Additional links and sources to find out more about the sustainable plan of the Olympics 2016:

 

https://www.olympic.org/sustainability

https://www.rio2016.com/sites/default/files/Plano_Gestao_Sustentabilidade_EN.pdf

http://www.unep.org/NewsCentre/default.aspx?DocumentID=2725&ArticleID=9595

Tesla’s natural sources of energy – Interview