Your gift purchases can benefit orangutans, one of the endangered species you can visit at the Zoo.
Orangutans face extreme challenges in the wild, and it is easy for people living far away to feel unable to make a difference. However, in the case of orangutans, you CAN make a difference! As the world’s largest consumers, Americans have the power to vote with their wallets. Make a purchase that benefits an orangutan.
Picture frames or furniture made of rainforest-friendly wood
By avoiding illegally or unsustainably harvested wood, you protect the orangutans’ habitat. Avoid wood products that say, “Made in Indonesia,” and look for products labeled with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) stamp or labeled as SmartWood.
Clothing made from fibers such as bamboo or wool
Clothing and products made from rayon come from a wood pulp found in Indonesia – which is now the world’s largest producer of rayon – and the rayon mills are huge consumers of the rainforests’ trees and other resources.
Candy with a conscience
Palm oil is increasingly being used as a food ingredient and cooking oil in a variety of baked goods and candies. Huge tracts of the Borneo and Sumatra rainforests – where orangutans once flourished – have been cut down to plant palm oil trees. Most palm oil products should be avoided in your local store; however products containing sustainably-produced palm oil (orangutan friendly) are increasingly available.
Bath and beauty products with a conscience
Palm oil is also included in many personal care products. Choose those which use sustainably harvested palm oil or no palm oil at all. You’ll look good and feel good too!
Adopt an orangutan
Many conservation organizations are dedicated to protecting wild orangutans, rehabilitating orangutans and caring for those that cannot live in the wild. Places to start:
Join a conservation group
Give the gift that lasts all year with a membership to a group dedicated to wildlife and habitat conservation.
Gifts that educate
Books, videos, magazine subscriptions, and puzzles are just a few ideas. Spark an imagination this year, and encourage a loved one to learn more about orangutans.