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Orangutan-Safe Product Guide

Help protect orangutans by buying sustainable palm oil groceries and personal care items.

Orangutans face extreme challenges in the wild, due to deforestation and destruction of habitat. Millions of acres of rainforest are destroyed each year to produce palm oil, which is used in everything from cookies and crackers to shampoo and cosmetics. Even though orangutans live far away, it's easy to help make difference right here at home. You have the power to vote for sustainable palm oil every time you shop. Make smart purchases that benefit orangutans.

For easy shopping on the go, El Paso Zoo has developed a smart phone app that tells you if what you're buying contains palm oil. Download the Palm Oil Guide & Scanner.

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.

Orangutan Photos