Most of us practice personal hygiene at least every couple of days, and because many contain synthetic chemicals, a portion of those end up in our bodies and in our earth. For the last few months, I’ve been trying to green-up my beauty routine. If I wouldn’t put something in my body, why would I want to put it on my body? Standing in the body care aisle at the local Whole Foods, however, I ran into a problem.
Palm Oil. It is literally in every single soap on the shelf, and because it doesn’t always have to be labeled as such, even “vegetable oil” makes me nervous. Palm Oil is the number one cause of deforestation in Indonesia, where giant swathes of forest are cleared for plantations. Endangered species like the Orangutan and the Sumatran Tiger (of which there are less than 500 in the wild) are losing their habitats at a terrifying rate, and if it isn’t stopped, the only place we’ll be able to find them will be zoos. Until palm oil production is sustainable and destruction-free, I’ll be purchasing products without it.
After scouring the Bay Area for palm oil free soap, my search finally paid off. While wandering aimlessly at GreenFest in San Francisco, I came across Diggin’ Livin’ Farm and Apiary‘s booth and was drawn in by the promise of palm oil free soap. Jackpot! I bought a bar of the Bioregional Mint” for $6, as much as I’d been paying anywhere else.
After using the product and doing some research on Diggin’ Livin’ Farms, I’m excited to say that I have found my rainforest-safe soap! The soap smells great and keeps skin soft, which is really all I was looking for. The makers, the McEwen family, are dedicated to getting the word out about palm oil and rainforest destruction, even going so far as to sponsor an “adopted” orangutan, Kesi. Kesi, who lost her mother and her left hand on a palm oil plantation, lives at the BOS Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rescue Center and is funded partially by the purchase of Diggin’ Livin’ products.
What better time to make greener shopping choices than the Holiday season? These destruction-free soaps can be purchased online and will make a great eco-and-orangutan-friendly stocking-stuffer. I know a few lucky people who will be getting soap from me!