DITCH PALM OIL
Palm oil is one of those ingredients that seems to have found its way into everything. Once trans-fats got a bad rap, producers rushed to find a substitute and landed on palm oil.
Unfortunately, this cheaply produced oil is knocking out large swathes of delicate ecosystems such as the Leuser ecosystem in North Sumatra. This is the last place on earth where critically-endangered elephants, tigers, rhinos and orangutans all still coexist under the same forest canopy.
This month, the challenge is to find out which products are made with conflict palm oil and avoid buying them.
Palm oil production is responsible for a 50% decline in the population of Borneo's orangutans.
Burning peatlands to clear the way for palm oil plantations emits harmful gases.
Orangutans aren't the only ones taking a hit - critically endangered species such as Sumatran tigers, rhinos and elephants are also losing precious habitat to palm oil plantations.
Then there's the human factor. The palm oil industry has been linked to major human rights violations such as child labour, along with corporations taking land owned by indigenous peoples.
Avoid conflict palm oil. It turns up in SO MANY PLACES. PepsiCo is one of the worst offenders - in 2014, many of the world's leading producers of snack foods announced major changes to start ensuring the use of sustainably sourced palm oil.
PepsiCo was not one of them. It produces a ton of snack foods, as well as 'health' foods, and is severely lagging in any commitment towards sustainable palm oil.
So how do you know which products have conflict palm oil in them? Companies disguise it in their list of ingredients, so your safest bet is to use a tool such as Buycott.
It's an app that allows you to scan the bar code of a product to find out its exact contents and how sustainable it is.
You can also look for Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified products, as well as products containing organic palm oil.
look for support
Head over to our Facebook Group for ideas and chat about this month's challenge. The Instagram feed will be naming and shaming conflict palm oil offenders and suggesting other ways you can help solve this problem.
Remember, the idea is to keep going with the previous challenges (listed below) at a level with which you are comfortable.
Get Out There
The Final Straw
All The Colours
Eat Less Face