Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Palm Oil

Soapers use palm oil in soap making because it increases the hardness of the bar, which also helps it last longer. Palm oil is used as a replacement for tallow in 100% vegetable soaps. It is possible to make soap that is free of palm oil because coconut oil will also make a hard bar and it lathers better; however, too much coconut oil can dry the skin. So, soapers often use coconut and palm oil to get a hard bar that lathers well, but isn't drying.

The problem is that the over production and use of palm oil is causing severe deforestation to create palm oil plantations. Huge expanses of rainforests are being destroyed to make room for more plantations. These plantations destroy habitat for already endangered species such as orangutans and sun bears. Many of these plantations also exploit local workers, who face unfair pay, abusive situations, and exposure to toxic pesticides.

Many small soap companies are switching to organic, sustainably harvested palm oil. This palm oil is harvested in a way that prevents rainforest destruction and the harming of local species and people. It is important for us all to get involved to help prevent further destruction. To find out what you can do and get more information visit the Rainforest Action Network.

Honu Naturals is committed to doing our part to prevent deforestation and habitat destruction. We have pledged to use only organic, sustainably harvested palm oil.

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