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.
Soy too? What will us soap makers be left with? 🙁
This is sadly true – some plantations in Malaysia have been in use since the 1920’s – but its hard to find out where its sourced from.
With Soy, I’ve read some disturbing reports that environmental issues are occurring in South America also – it gets harder and harder 🙁
It is very worrisome and I don’t have the right answer. Palm Oil is so important for making soap. Yet, small actions, undertaken by many, have the power to change big things so I am going to work on decreasing my Palm oil use in my favorite recipes.
I was so disappointed about this after reading read about it in Create the Dream ~ shortly after buying 2 tubs of palm oil. I’ve decided once all my palm oil is gone I’m going to try soy. Thank you for the information on the WWF.