Halloween is approaching very quickly, which means everyone is running out to the stores to stock up on candy. This year, several zoos and conservation groups are asking you to be careful what they buy. The thing is, many treats are made with palm oil. The production of this substance is often made without any concern for the sustainability, resulting in dangerous conditions for the critically endangered orangutans.
The demand for palm oil has increased so much in recent years that the equivalent to 300 football fields of rainforest is destroyed every hour to make more space for more palm oil plantations. That is a lot of rainforest lost! This destruction has endangered many species including the Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Elephant and the Orangutan.
Luckily, there is an easy way to tell if something is safe for the environment! Thanks to Colorado's Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, you can download an app directly to your phone to help you identify which products are safe to buy. Luckily, many of your favorites are responsibly sourced or made without palm oil! Big-name corporations like Nestle, General Mills, Kellogg's and Hershey have all committed to "zero-deforestation" agreements. Also, several zoos have posted easy guides on Facebook to make sure everyone does their part to save the orangutans.
When you buy your Halloween candy this year, make sure you do so with the environment in mind!