Letter: You, too, can help protect orangutans

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Editor,

Once upon a time, there were beautiful, lush forests where animals roamed free. Now go forward into the present. There are a few animals that still roam the destroyed forests and those have no homes. And many of these forests are home to a much endangered animal, the orangutan. There are no predators for the orangutans in the wild. Their only predator is humans. There were 60,000 orangutans in the world just ten years ago. Now there are only 40,000. Most of the decline in population has come from the loss of their habitat from people trying to get palm oil. The companies that try to get palm oil usually burn down the forests to make rows of palm trees that they cold harvest for their oil. Not all palm oil products are bad though. There are products that use RSPO certification. This is a certification that is earned when the product’s palm oil comes from a sustainable palm oil plantation. The RSPO sets criteria so that the amount of trees cut down for palm oil is safe for the environment. What are things that you can do to help? Only purchase RSPO-certified products. This will be labeled on the item and can usually be found at your local supermarket.

Carmel Middle School students Max Moroknek, Matthew Vasuta, Peter Kryjanovski, Pranav Sriram, Alp Firkan, 46032

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