Many items that we use in our everyday life are contributors to the deforestation of the Southeast Asian rainforests where the orangutans live. Choosing products that use sustainable resources or avoiding the materials that are harming orangutans’ habitats can greatly help with conservation efforts. We have gathered a list of materials and products that are known to negatively affect orangutans and their habitat.
Tropical plywood refers to any type of wood that grows from trees in the tropical rainforests. It is often used for construction projects due to its low cost, however, the overharvesting of this popular wood has caused significant deforestation and devastation to the South East Asian rainforests.
Ramin hardwood is from an endangered species of tree that is used to create ramin dowels is logged and imported from Indonesia and Malaysia. Ramin dowels are often even used in products that claim to be “Made in the USA”.
Rayon, also known as viscose, which is pupled from the many of the trees found in the rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia. Rayon popularly used in various forms of clothing items. The over-harvesting of these trees leads to rainforest deforestation.
The Indonesian and Malaysian hardwoods, teak, ebony, sandalwood, and ironwood that is collected should also be avoided due to their slow-growing nature. The overharvesting of these materials greatly endangers the wildlife that depends on their existence within the rainforest.
Non-Sustainable Palm Oil
The Orangutan Conservancy recognizes the devastating effects of unregulated, non-sustainable palm oil industry practices, however we also know the potentially more harmful consequences of less efficient vegetable oils. As palm oil continues to take the least amount of land to produce, we advocate for the sustainable and ethical production of palm oil as long as it does not cause more deforestation. We DO NOT support the transition of any forested areas to palm oil plantations.
When shopping consider the following questions:
- Do I really need that picture frame or piece of furniture crafted from tropical hardwood?
- Why am I choosing a product with palm oil in it when there is another more conservation-friendly product nearby?
- Do I want to buy that suit made of rayon?
- What alternative to palm oil can I find on these shelves?
- Is there proof that this exotic wood product has come from well-managed forests by an accredited certifier of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)?