Your Body

Would You Burn A Rainforest Just To Wash Your Hair?

By November 16, 2015 0

The other day, I was gabbing with a friend about beauty products, boyfriends and their innate desire to secretly use us girls’ hair products. She said that her husband just discovered Moroccan oil (you know, the gold one in the little bottle), and I replied something to the effect of, “I know that one, I used to use it but stopped buying it because of everything that’s going on in Indonesia.” She looked at me with the same expression that she wears when I suggest salad over french fries.

I prodded further: “The burning of untouched rain forests to produce palm oil…?”

With still no semblance of the slightest clue as to what I was referring, I opted instead to fire off an urgent  “YOU DON’T KNOW THAT SIX COUNTRIES ARE COVERED IN A BLANKET OF SMOKE?!”

Nope. She had NO idea what I was talking about and I realized that the problem not only lies in mankind violating the earth, but also in a permeating global ignorance.

So let me give a quick synopsis for those of you who may still be in the dark. Ahem…

We (and I say we collectively as the human race because until we put a stop to this, we are all enablers) are burning untouched rain forests in Asia to make room to cultivate palms for oil. Deforestation of any kind wreaks havoc on the ecosystem. We’re killing animals and obliterating a vital component of our environment. And they’re not just choppin’ trees down, they’re burning it. All of it. Because it purportedly makes preparing the land for new agriculture easier, which begs the question: just who is going to be able to plant these palm trees when everyone is sick and dying from smoke inhalation?

Palm kernel oil is the preferred oil in many food and cosmetic products. It has great consistency, longer shelf life, no odor, and has a higher yield than other oil sources. On average, palm trees produce four to ten times more oil than other crops per unit of cultivated land. That seems more sustainable right?

But obviously certain countries aren’t utilizing sustainable practice in cultivation. Indonesia and Malaysia have laws against the burning of primary (untouched) rain forests, but due to corporate corruption, there are companies doing it regardless because of our consumerism. Yup. These companies see just how much we purchase products that contain the oils, and will stop at nothing to turn a profit.

So, please, please check your shampoo bottle. If it doesn’t say sulfate-free, I bet one of the first ingredients is sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate, both derived from palm oil. It’s in pretty much everything that creates that beautiful, lathery foam. All that Halloween candy you consumed over the weekend was loaded with palm oil too. And the glitter from my My Little Pony costume will haunt me well into the spring. It’s all over the place. Like my life.

I should also clarify here, that after doing some research, I learned that the company OGX (the ones that produce that golden glowing Moroccan oil) only purchases palm oil from suppliers that are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. They don’t do shit like burn down forests and kill baby orangutans for money. To learn more about their standards and what products include RSPO certified palm oil click here and go to the “consumers” tag.

My point here is to remind you all that as consumers, we have way more power than we think we do. Pepsico recently removed aspartame from Diet Pepsi because people stopped buying it and sales dropped when evidence began to emerge that aspartame is the single worst chemical in our food supply today and has received more criticism than any other food additive in history.

We have the power.

If we say no to non-sustainably sourced palm oil, the lack of demand will effectively negate their supply. In other words, stop giving your money to destructive, animal-killing criminals and they won’t have any funds to perform these acts against humanity.

Please, please click here to read the link that inspired this post and share the knowledge.