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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.
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).
– 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
4. Hydrogenated palm glycerides
5. Octyl palmitate
6. Palm fruit oil
7. Palm kernel
8. Palm kernel oil
9. Palm stearine
12. Palmitic acid
13. Palmitoyl oxostearamide
14. Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3
15. Palmityl alcohol
17. Sodium kernelate
18. Sodium laureth sulfate
19. Sodium lauryl lactylate/sulphate
20. Sodium lauryl sulfate
21. Sodium palm kernelate
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:
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:
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.
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.
Click to access Plano_Gestao_Sustentabilidade_EN.pdf