Did you know that there are approximately only 7000 Sumatran and 45000 Bornean Organutans left in the wild? According to the experts orang-utans have 97% DNA in common with humans. Over the last 20 years these beautiful animals have had a massive decline in numbers mainly due to habitat loss. Sumatra alone has lost nearly 80% of its natural forest. Orangutans are one of many species threatened with extinction. It is estimated that if nothing is done they will be extinct within the next ten years. For me, they represent ALL species that face extinction in Borneo and Sumatra due to habitat loss.
Their rainforest homes are being wiped out for mainly palm oil and paper pulp plantations. Palm oil is something I’ll blog about later. In brief, it is a used in many food products and personal hygiene products. Not all companies disclose its use in the list of the ingredients either. There are a myriad of names it is listed as but most commonly in food products it is simply listed as vegetable oil.
So what can we do to support World Orangutan Day?
Without spending a cent you can help the orang-utans and the many other species who are facing a grim future by;
- Spreading the word through social media
- Spend some time in your pantry/bathroom checking out what products you use that contain palm oil and start buying palm oil free products or make your own
- If you’re unsure whether your products contain palm oil email or message (via facebook) the company
- Sign a petition about labelling, logging or palm oil
- Find out more about the plight of orang-utans by visiting one of the many organisations that are doing amazing work to save them.
- The following websites are a good place to start;
Just remember you can be part of an eco revolution. You have the power to act especially through social media and as a consumer. Your contribution may seem small but together we can make a positive change.