This recent post on one of the blogs I follow made me realize this is something that I, as soap maker, should address. https://thecobweboriumemporium.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/theres-a-rang-tan-in-my-bedroom/
If you watch the short (heartbreaking) video in this link (and you should) you probably get the gist, but let me give you a little more detail. When I started making soap, 10+ years ago, I found that most soap recipes called for palm oil. Interestingly, I found some of the sources of these recipes recommended using “sustainable” palm oil. I honestly had no idea what was meant by “sustainable” palm oil, so I did what any person with internet access would do – searched “sustainable palm oil”.
What I learned is that palm oil is widely used in products that we consume (about 50% of the products in our grocery stores contain palm oil) and since production is not able to keep up with demand rain forests are being destroyed in order to plant more oil palm trees. This website gives lots more details and says it way better than I ever could. https://www.palmoilinvestigations.org/about-palm-oil.html
I found it very disturbing that entire habitats and the were being destroyed and wildlife was being killed or displaced in order to satisfy human greed. It seemed unethical and immoral, so at that point I decided rather than adding to the problem by creating more demand, I would just not use palm oil. In soap making there are many, many oils and many oil combinations that can be used to make nice soaps. Palm oil is simply not necessary.
After reading the post from The Cobweb Emporium I realized that I had been negligent by not passing this information along. I am certain that awareness of the issue is the first step in making a difference. Beyond that it is for each individual to decide on actions they might take. These could include:
- Seeking and purchasing products that do not contain palm oil or its derivatives. This is not an easy task as there are around 200 ways palm oil can be listed as ingredients. They can be viewed at this link https://www.palmoilinvestigations.org/names-for-palm-oil.html
- Cooking from scratch and/or making your own soap, skin care and cleaning products.
- Getting involved with advocacy groups.
- Contacting companies that use palm oil in their products and ask them to seek alternative ingredients.
- Share this post with others so they too are aware of the problem and can take action if they choose.
Let your conscious be your guide.
Thanks for reading. 🙂