Sustainable Shopper

The Power to Protect Orangutans in the Palm of your Hand

©2014 •The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

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Why Sustainable Palm Oil?

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We can protect orangutans by choosing products made with sustainable palm oil.

Palm oil is harvested from the fruit of the oil palm plant. The use of palm oil in processed foods and products has risen sharply over the past few years and it is now the world’s preferred vegetable oil.

Oil palm plantations are spreading across Indonesia, which produces 85% of the world’s supply of palm oil, often to the detriment of its rainforests and the orangutans and other wildlife that live there.

The Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) promotes sustainable methods of producing palm oil that do not involve clear cutting rainforests and harming wildlife. In 2008, the RSPO initiated a program to certify sustainable palm oil producers.

As consumers, we all have the power to protect orangutans by choosing to purchase products made with Certified Sustainable Palm Oil. Watch Rock Center Segment About Sumatran Orangutans

Learn More About The RSPO

©2014 •The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

About the Animals

The Southeast Asian rainforest is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife including tigers, elephants, rhinos, rhinoceros hornbills, and of course, orangutans.

Orangutans

orangutanOrangutan means “person of the forest” and is a fitting name for a primate that is happy to spend its day hanging out in the treetops and gorging on fruit. It’s too heavy to jump from tree to tree, so when an orangutan needs to cross a gap in the canopy, it sways the tree back and forth until it can reach out with its long arms and grab a neighboring tree with its hook-like hands.

As a large animal with a hefty appetite for fruit, an orangutan needs large areas of forest. Unfortunately, unsustainable oil palm plantations are rapidly replacing Southeast Asian rainforests. As consumers, we all have the power to protect wildlife by using the Sustainable Shopper app to choose products made with Certified Sustainable Palm Oil. Watch Rock Center Segment About Sumatran Orangutans

Sumatran Rhinos

sumatran rhinoKnown as the “hairy” rhino for its reddish-brown hair, the forest-dwelling Sumatran rhino uses its prehensile upper lip to browse on fruit, leaves, twigs, and bark. The rhino pretty much keeps to itself except during mating or as a mother with her young. A female gives birth to just one calf every few years.

An estimated 100 wild Sumatran rhinos remain scattered throughout the fragmented rainforests of Southeast Asia. With an already critically small population, the loss of more forests to palm oil plantations makes it harder for rhinos to find mates and reproduce. As consumers, we all have the power to protect wildlife by using the Sustainable Shopper app to choose products made with Certified Sustainable Palm Oil.

Asian Elephants

Weighing five tons or more, an Asian elephant eats up to 300 pounds of food a day. In herds of about 20 individuals, elephants wander widely in search of food and spend up to 20 hours a day feeding on leaves, grass, and fruit. They have to cover a lot of ground to satisfy their appetites.

Elephants are forced to live in shrinking pockets of forests as palm oil plantations expand. Hungry elephants become unwanted guests on local farms as they raid crops for food, which can lead to deadly clashes between elephants and people. As consumers, we all have the power to protect wildlife by using the Sustainable Shopper app to choose products made with Certified Sustainable Palm Oil.

Rhinoceros Hornbills

rhinoceros hornbillThe large, colorful rhinoceros hornbill lives its entire life in the treetops. It flies from tree to tree in search of ripe fruit. During the breeding season, the female nests in a tree hole. She seals up the entrance except for a small slit through which the male brings her food while she sits on the eggs.

Rhinoceros hornbills cannot find food and shelter in a palm oil plantation. They need the figs and tree cavities that the rainforest provides. As consumers, we all have the power to protect wildlife by using the Sustainable Shopper app to choose products made with Certified Sustainable Palm Oil.

Tigers

tigerSilently stalking, a tiger ambushes prey— perhaps a wild pig or deer —pouncing on it from the rear. Other than females with their young, tigers are solitary and come together only to mate. Each tiger defends its own territory from others of the same gender. These territories must be large to provide enough prey for a tiger to eat.

As palm oil plantations take over more and more of the forest, the tiger struggles to maintain a territory with sufficient prey. A tiger that turns to livestock for food comes into direct conflict with people. As consumers, we all have the power to protect wildlife by using the Sustainable Shopper app to choose products made with Certified Sustainable Palm Oil.

Learn About Project Saving Species

©2014 •The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Video

palm oil video

Chances are good that we all consume/use products that are made using palm oil. Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard explains how using products made with certified sustainable palm oil makes a difference in global conservation.

©2014 •The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden