Keeping Dead Orangutans Out of Your Hair

Good to see my fellow writer on Grist, Glenn Hurowitz, pop up in the Los Angeles Times. His op-ed against the use of palm oil is a good model, I think, of how to firmly but fairly encourage people not to use products that destroy planetary health. He writes:

While showering a few weeks ago, I realized I had run out of
conditioner. So I reached up and grabbed my wife’s bottle — Clairol
Herbal Essences Rainforest Flowers, "with essences of nourishing palm."

The
label caught me slightly by surprise. As an environmental journalist,
I’ve been writing about the ecologically destructive effect of palm oil
for some time now.

Whether it’s used as an additive in soap,
cosmetics or food, or processed into a biofuel, palm oil is one of the
worst culprits in the climate crisis. Most of it comes from the
disappearing, ultra-carbon-rich rain forests of Indonesia and Malaysia,
of which a whopping 25,000 square miles have been cleared and burned to
make way for palm oil plantations.

That
burning releases enough carbon dioxide into the air to rank Indonesia
as the No. 3 such polluter in the world. It also destroys the last
remaining habitat for orangutans, Sumatran rhinos, tigers and other
endangered wildlife. So what was this deadly oil doing in our otherwise
ecologically friendly apartment?

Darn good question. Dang, and I used to love Herbal Essences. Smelled like the 70’s to me.

For a moment I congratulated myself on not having any palm oil in the house…but then remembered the Ivory soap.

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