Palm Oil is one of my favorite oils in soapmaking. It contributes to a harder bar and also helps Coconut Oil do its job and lather up big bubbles. Unfortunately, there are some negative repercussions from using Palm Oil to the environment.
How can something natural be harmful to the environment? Demand for palm oil is the leading cause for rainforest deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia, according to Friends of the Earth. The land occupied by palm oil plantations has doubled in the last ten years in Indonesia, endangering the habitat of the orangutan, Asian elephant and the Sumatran tiger.These planations pollute the soil and water with use of pesticides.
Things that you can do if you’re a soapmaker using Palm Oil: try to use Olive, Sunflower and Canola in larger porportions in your recipe. Buy sustainably grown Palm Oil that is grown in rehabilitated agricultural areas or from smaller farms that don’t harm animal habitat and migration patterns. You can support companies that are part of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Production, cofounded by the World Wildlife Fund.