If you take a trip to the Denver Zoo at some point over the next few months, you’ll see an adorable-looking pair of Linne’s two-toed sloths named Elliot and Charlotte. As they (and their baby Wookiee) adjust to a new and improved home in the Tropical Discovery wing, visitors will notice an accompanying campaign called “Shop Smart to Save Sloths.”
This campaign is the result of a partnership with Palm Done Right, an organization that helps palm oil farmers in Ecuador to maintain their oil palm plantations more sustainably and to educate consumers about the importance of supporting such initiatives. Such efforts have a direct impact on the wellbeing of Elliot’s and Charlotte’s wild relatives, who live in the Ecuadorean rainforest.
Palm oil has a notorious reputation for driving deforestation and destroying wildlife habitats, and yet it is used in 50% of the products found in supermarkets, from food to cleaning supplies to personal care products. It provides 35% of the world’s vegetable oil supply.
“Palm oil is here to stay. It is the most productive and efficient vegetable oil crop. Palm oil enhances the quality and performance of the food, personal care, and household products we use on a daily basis.”
No other vegetable oil is as versatile or as lucrative to produce. The best option, therefore, is to improve how it’s produced and to set a higher standard for what we buy.