Halloween is just around the corner! Time to hunt down those costumes and stock up on goodies for your favorite little goblins. This year, zoos across the country are working together to help you make the best candy choices for preserving natural habitats far and wide.
In the wild, orangutans are found only on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo in Southeast Asia. The biggest threat to orangutans is deforestation due to agriculture. The main crop planted after the forest is cleared is palm oil, which is used in many foods we eat and products we use every day. Palm oil is in cookies, crackers, toothpaste, lotion, and yes, even all that delicious candy!
When grown irresponsibly, palm oil is very harmful to the environment and orangutans. The good news is that palm oil can be produced in a responsible way without cutting down the rainforest. Palm oil that is produced responsibly is called sustainable palm oil.
Several of our favorite Halloween candies are made with sustainable palm oil by companies that have joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). This Halloween, use the guide below to fill your candy bowl with products made by companies committed to making a difference for wild orangutans and other endangered species. To learn more, go to: http://www.rspo.org/
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is lucky to house five beautiful orangutans, and is a leader in the conservation efforts of zoo-born orangutans and their wild counterparts. One particularly influential figure in the world of orangutan conservation is Zookeeper Megan Elder. Megan is the Vice Chair of the Orangutan Species Survival Plan (SSP) management program for North American zoos accredited through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). She is also the International Orangutan Studbook Keeper for the World Association of Zoos & Aquariums (WAZA). With Megan’s help, the captive orangutan species can be sustained long-term, allowing future generations to learn about and enjoy this unique and critically endangered species. With your help, we can all work together to protect the forests wild orangutans depend on. Shop smart!
Want to find ways to help Orangutans year round? Download and use Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping Guide. Just search Palm Oil in your app store and look for the green orangutan logo. With this app, scan the bar codes of your favorite products to determine if they contain sustainably farmed palm oil.
Together, we can all ensure our shopping choices help the conservation of these critically endangered species.