Everyone I talk to these days tells me how busy and hectic their lives are. As parents we have limited time, technology distracts us and our children 24/7, and our family’s rhythm which more then not revolves around getting to and from work, school and life events, only seems to grow more overwhelming and complicated as our children grow too.
One of our roles as parents is to try to STOP time every once in a while, and make “life memories” for our children. We think we can help you do this, as part of your Halloween ritual this year. This starts with YOU watching this very touching and poignant video from our friends at the Rainforest Action Network.
Grab the kids in your life, sit down and watch Strawberry, an orangutan, explain to her new friend Lena how humans have thoughtlessly destroyed her home. Incredible…Then let’s talk Halloween, Candy, Orangutans and Climate Change.
The purpose of this RAN campaign, The Last Stand of the Orangutan: The Power is in your Palm, is to help raise attention of the US snack food industry’s widespread use of palm oil. Not only is palm oil directly impacting the Orangutan population, it also contributes to Climate Change. lndonesia and Malaysia produce more then 80% of the palm oil used today in products we buy, and often, the agricultural practices used to produce palm oil in these countries has a negative impact not only on the orangutans, and our environment but also on our increasingly limited “carbon budget.” As we learned from the recent IPCC report, human caused climate change is quickly putting us on a path of “no return,” creating a crisis of catastrophic proportions we will see in our lifetimes.
In a nutshell, by draining the tropical peatland forests, which, like our oceans, serve as important carbon sinks, we are creating conditions for more CO2 to go into our atmosphere and trap more heat. Fire is used to clear vegetation for oil palm plantations, which also puts a lot of C02 into the air, fires also break out on the drained peatland forests, causing catastrophic problems and adding more CO2 into the atmosphere. Current palm oil agricultural processes and the deforestation that is happening because of these methods are harmful for our world, and for our future. We will have more on palm oil and climate change in upcoming posts. But for now, and for Halloween, help your kids make a difference by NOT supporting or buying candy from companies that use conflict palm oil.
Here are 4 things you and your kids can do today, after you watch the RAN video:
1. Sign RAN’s petition to the SNACK Food 20, companies that control some of the best-known snack food brands in the world— ask them to remove “conflict palm oil” tied to rainforest destruction and orangutan extinction from their products.
2. Share the video about Strawberry and Lena with your family and friends, and let them know about the Snack Food 20 too (see list of companies below).
3. Submit a photo for the “Power in your Palm” campaign. Here is ours!
4 . Read labels carefully. Make a conscious effort not to buy Halloween candy that uses conflict palm oil, and make sure to let the companies know why you aren’t buying their products this year. (Here is a ‘pocket shopping guide” that many Zoos around our country make available, which has been developed by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, to help us identify products and companies that aren’t actively working to make Palm Oil production more sustainable).
By showing our children that they too are powerful, we can all make a difference!
Snack Food 20: Campbell Soup Company; ConAgra Foods, Inc.; Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc.; General Mills, Inc.; Grupo Bimbo; Hillshire Brands Company; H.J. Heinz Company; Hormel Foods Corporation; Kellogg Company; Kraft Food Group, Inc.; Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Corp.; Mars Inc.; Mondelez International, Inc.; Nestlé S.A.; Nissin Foods Holdings Co., Ltd.; PepsiCo, Inc.; The Hershey Company; The J.M. Smucker Company; Toyo Suisan Kaisha, Ltd.; and Unilever.