Saturday, June 4, 2011

Borneo 3D: 100 Days in the Jungle

Without forests, life on this planet cannot exist. Borneo has the oldest and one of the most bio-diverse rain forests in the world, yet over the last 20 years, these forests have been leveled at a rate unparalleled in human history. Many species are being threatened by this destruction, including the endangered orangutan. So what is the solution?

Borneo 3D will follow the adventures of 10 young ‘action agents’ who will spend 100 days in the jungle working with acclaimed scientist Dr Willie Smits, the local Dayak people and the DeforestACTION project.

They will set up satellite technology to monitor the existing forest, confront illegal logging, replant an entire forest eco-system, rescue and care for orangutans and release them back into the wild.

Willie Smith tells us how we can regrow rainforests in his TED talk! This is quite amazing and gives a little bit of hope...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Clear Labels, NOT forests!

Please sign this if you are in the EU! Labeling palm oil is a crucial step in fighting the massive deforestation! This is VERY VERY important people so please help ;)

Clear Labels, NOT forests!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Palm oil free companies in Iceland!

I have contacted a lot of Icelandic companies in the last week and have gotten some replies. Some people were extremely helpful and interested while others were not but that is to be expected. I am waiting for further information from Myllan and Frón and a few others have not responded. Tips on new companies that I may not have heard of are welcome!

Palm oil free companies:
Erpsstaðir - home made ice cream and cheeses.
Urtasmiðjan - skin products from Icelandic herbs.
Vallarnes Móðir jörð - organic farm.
Villimey - skin products from Icelandic herbs.
Iðnmark - crisps, popcorn etc.
Sælusápur - soaps

Companies using palm oil from Aarhus Karlshamn:
Nói Síríus - sweets
Góa Linda - sweets
Kólus Sambó - sweets

Aarhus Karlshamn is a founder member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil but that doesnt guarantee the consumers they are buying sustainable products since only a small portion of palm oil in the world is sustainable. This company seems on paper to be very environmentally friendly and they have a policy on palm oil. If anyone knows more about them please let me know :)

More to come!! :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

German government funds Lufthansa partnership with leading palm oil agrofuel producer

Please all sign this petition! Lufthansa is planning on using palm oil on their planes between Hamburg and Frankfurt!! Most of the palm oil comes from IOI and the state government of Sarawak (Borneo) has just announced plans for another ONE MILLION HECTARES of rainforest to be cut down for oil palms and IOI is one of the main investors in this expansion.

To make it crystal clear, one million hectares is approximately the size of Cyprus, half the size of Wales and third of Belgium (and one tenth of Iceland)!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Home made food :)

I am now making all food from scratch and it is so much fun :) Yes it does take a bit longer time than putting pre-cooked food in the microwave but its relaxing and I know exactly what I am eating. Its a great feeling! I am planning to make my own tortillas soon since I found out that all tortillas you can buy in Iceland either contain palm oil or "vegetable oil". I just loose my apertite when I read those kinds of labels and am so happy when I find good brands that are honest with their ingredients and have chosen environmentally friendly ingredients (which are not so many Im afraid).

So I have very mixed feelings at the moment. I am sad because of what people are doing to the planet. But I am also happy because I feel like I am making a (small) difference and I am also eating healthier food and feel liberated. I have just sent an introduction on Roots & Shoots in the Student paper of the University of Iceland and hopefully will be able to recruit more people and start it properly. I also have a PhD to think about... eek...

Keep reading the labels and look out for environmentally friendly labels (try to avoid all green-wash though!). Google it if in doubt! In Iceland a trip to Yggdrasill and Fjarðarkaup is a must :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Palm oil in Brtain's top brands

For the sake of the rainforests and the orangutans these products should not end up in your shopping trolley. The whole list is here.

2. Warburtons, Warburtons, £709m, YES

4. Hovis, Premier Foods, £405m, YES

5. Cadbury Dairy Milk, Cadbury, £374m, YES

6. Kingsmill, ABF, £363m, YES

17. Persil, Unilever, £210m, YES

18. Flora Spreads, Unilever, £200m, YES

23. Galaxy, Mars, £185m, YES

24. Youngs Frozen Fish, Young’s, £184m, YES

25. Kit Kat, Nestle, £183m, YES

30. Bold, Procter & Gamble, £174m, SUSPECTED*

31. Mr Kipling Cakes, Premier Foods, £174m, YES

32. Wrigley’s Extra, Wrigley, £170m, YES

33. Ariel, Procter & Gamble, £157m, SUSPECTED*

34. Pringles, Procter & Gamble, £143m SUSPECTED*

40. Birds Eye Poultry, Birds Eye, £130m, YES

41. Maltesers, Mars, £130m, YES

47. Mars, Mars, £123m, YES

49. Kellogg's Special K, Kellogg’s, £122m, YES

53. Ginsters, Ginsters, £114m, YES

58. Fairy Laundry, Procter & Gamble, £107m, SUSPECTED*

59. Fairy Liquid, Procter & Gamble, £107m, SUSPECTED*

60. McVitie’s Digestives, United Biscuits, £106m, YES

61. Comfort, Unilever, £106m, YES

64. Goodfella’s Pizza, Northern Foods, £101m, YES

69. Lenor, Procter & Gamble, £98m, SUSPECTED*

72. Daz, Procter & Gamble, £95m, SUSPECTED*

75. McCoys, United Biscuits, £90m, YES

77. Haribo, Haribo, £89m, YES

78. Bisto Gravy, Premier Foods, £89m, YES

79. BM Cooked Meat, Bernard Matthews, £88m, YES

82. Quality Street, Nestle, £85m, YES

83. Richmond Sausages, Kerry Foods, £84m, YES

84. CrunchyNut Cornflakes, Kellogg’s, £83m, YES

85. Magnum, Unilever, £79m, YES

87. Bessies Potatoes, Heinz, £78m, YES

88. Chicago Town Pizza, Dr Oetker, £77m, YES

91. Cadbury Cakes, Premier Foods, £76m, YES

92. Young’s Chilled Fish, Young’s, £75m, YES

93. Cadbury Roses, Cadbury, £75m, YES

96. Pot Noodles, Unilever, £73m, YES

97. Aero, Nestle, £73m, YES

98. Surf, Unilever, £73m, YES

100. Clover Spreads, Dairy Crest, £72m, YES

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ethical buyers' guide

Ethical buyers' guide to bars of chocolate and shampoo (and other food)

Ethiscore helps you to find the best products to buy and the worst companies to avoid according to 23 ethical categories (palm oil and other unsustainable use of products, pollution, animal testing, fairtrade, workers rights etc).

15 to 20 is good
10 to 14 is average
5 to 9 is poor
0 to 4 is very poor

For example very poor products:
Nestlé Heaven: 1
Twix: 1,5
Snickers: 1,5
M&M: 1,5
Bounty: 1,5
Wella shampoo: 0,5
Herbal Essences: 0,5
Dove 0,5
Neutragena: 2,5
Johnson's Baby shampoo: 2,5
Fructis: 3,5

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Roots & Shoots

I am setting up Roots & Shoots at the University of Iceland! Woohooo Im so excited :)

Roots & Shoots is a global youth program founded by Dr. Jane Goodall and I am recruiting now. Please join us :)

One of the first projects will be palm oil but all ideas are welcome and there will be something for everybody interested in environmental issues.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year everyone! My resolution will be to tell people about palm oil and try to persuade the icelandic food companies to stop using palm oil in their products. Until then there will be no chocolate or biscuits containing palm oil or "vegetable oil" for me :)

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Here you can find wonderful Icelandic soaps that are completely palm oil free :) No more rainforest killing Dove or Palmolive soaps that seem to be almost the only brands available in the super markets in Iceland...

You can find the Sælusápur soaps in the farmers market Frú Lauga!

General Mills commits to sustainble palm oil by 2015

Not even Cheerios is safe from palm oil! General Mills markets Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Yoplait, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and more.

The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) campaigned agains General Mills in January 2010 and thankfully on the 22nd of September 2010 General Mills committed to 100% sustainable palm oil by 2015.

So as you can see, pressuring the companies DOES WORK! :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Palm oil vs Coconut oil

There seems to be a slight confusion with palm oil and coconut oil. These products are both fram palm trees but two different species of palm.

Palm oil comes from oil palm Elaeis guineensis which has been planted in gigantic plantations all over Indonesia. These plantations are growing in size every day and virgin forest is cut down as we speak to make room for more oil palms.

The coconut oil come from the coconut palm Cocos nucifera, which is grown widepread in the tropics but does not have as great environmental impact as the oil palm. The future may reveal more problems but at the moment it is not considered a great risk to rainforests (suggestions and comments very welcome if anyone knows more about this).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Please boycott all Dove products!

Shopping guide 2!

Here is another list of products containing palm oil: Rainforest action group RAN but note its not a complete list. If you find your favourite products on the list you should write to the company and ask them to stop using palm oil. The more pressure the companies get the better.

Shopping guide!

Here is a simple shopping guide to avoid palm oil. The products in the picture contained palm oil as at 3/4/07.

Remember to READ THE LABEL! :) If in doubt, try to find another product!

Going palm oil free is not easy!

What is palm oil and why should we avoid it?

Here is an article from the independent
"What, then, is "unsustainable" palm oil? Step one: log a forest and remove the most valuable species for furniture. Step two: chainsaw or burn the remaining wood releasing huge quantities of greenhouse gas. Step three: plant a palm-oil plantation. Step four: make oil from the fruit and kernels. Step five: add it to biscuits, chocolate, margarine, soaps, moisturisers and washing powder. At breakfast, when millions of us are munching toast, we're eating a small slice of the rainforest."

And here is the shocking list of palm oil in the top 100 brands in Britain.

So by buying these products (and many many more) we are supporting the palm oil industry which may exterminate orangutans in 10 years. I have just moved back to Iceland and I went through all toiletries I had in the bathroom. Here is what I am throwing away because it contains palm oil!

It is tricky to find replacements (that work and do not cost an arm) but from now on I will try not buy any products that contain palm oil. But its not that simple because palm oil is not always labelled on the product. Sometimes the label says: "Vegetable oil". This is completely unacceptable! People should have the rights to know what they are buying but unfortunately most people do not care, they just buy things without question. This needs to change.