By Victoria G. Molinar
The El Paso Zoo’s new app helps shoppers avoid what many consider a huge threat to the environment—unsustainable palm oil. Aware of the power of consumers, the zoo teamed up with Spectrum Solutions, a local web design and marketing agency, to create The Palm Oil Guide and Scanner. The free smartphone app (with both Android and iPhone versions) utilizes a barcode scanner to help conscientious shoppers detect palm oil in everyday products and make the decision to keep it out of their homes. It’s in our cosmetics, cleansers and food, and according to the El Paso Zoo, 80% of the deforestation of peat swamp forests on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia is due to the production of palm oil.
The El Paso Zoo presents the Palm Oil Guide and Scanner. Find out what products contain palm oil and how to find alternative products without palm oil. From hand lotion to cosmetics and cookies – and even some “healthy” and organic items – palm oil is used in a variety of products we purchase every day, but the true cost of palm oil is the destruction of tropical forests. Oil palm plantations are expanding around the world as they clear rainforests to make way for larger and new palm production operations. Join the international boycott against products that contain palm oil and purchase similar products that do not contain palm oil. The choices you make every day will help decrease the demand for products that contain palm oil and help increase demand for products from responsible companies. Encourage companies that use palm oil to use alternative oils or palm oil that comes 100% from sustainable plantations that have agreed not to destroy wildlife habitats. Make the right choice today and help protect millions of wildlife and plant species like elephants, tigers, orangutans and countless other rainforest animals.
This scanner is designed to help you make better choices at the store when you purchase food and cosmetic products that might contain palm oil. The choices you make are critical to the survival millions of plants and animals, global efforts to protect biodiversity, the health of the ecosystem and the quality of life for people everywhere.
Sponsored by the El Paso Zoological Society
Photographed by Rick LoBello and Brian Wancho