Bornean orangutans are facing more challenges than ever before, but even if you are busy, you can do something to help protect orangutans, their forests, and their future.
FOLLOW A GREENER LIFESTYLE
Just like humans, orangutans are among the victims of our current climate crisis. Models predict that due to the compound effects of deforestation and climate change, they may lose up to 81% of suitable habitat by 2080 so it is up to all of us to try and stop this impending tragedy, by making smarter, ‘greener’ choices.
You can help by reducing your production of waste, reusing wherever possible, and recycling when necessary. Try to limit your energy usage and consumption of fossil fuels by turning off electronics and lights when not in use. If the option is available to you, switch to renewable energy sources. Were you aware that Indonesia is the world’s #1 exporter of thermal coal, and much of it is extracted from land that was once rainforest in Borneo? And the industry is only getting bigger.
CHANGE HOW YOU SHOP
Every time you spend, you are endorsing a product. And not just its taste or effects, but where it comes from. Make sure that when you go shopping, you are not supporting the deforestation of Indonesia, the killing or orangutans, or the exploitation of local peoples. When buying products containing palm oil, look for the seal from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Forest derivatives and products, including everything from perfume to hardwoods, can also be detrimental to the natural ecosystems. On these, look for a seal from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as an easy way to be confident that you are making an ethical purchase. And don’t forget to check that gold, and any other precious metals you purchase, are fair trade as well! But best of all, try to buy products local to your area! The shorter the distance your products travel, the smaller the carbon footprint.
You are more powerful than any NGO. At the end of the day, it is your dollar that companies are trying to earn and your vote that politicians are vying for. So, if you are not happy with the lack of sustainable sourcing for your favourite snack or disagree with the new policy that your representative voted for, say something! Social media gives everyone a public platform from which they can speak. Your voice matters, and we sincerely hope that you use it.
BE INFORMED AND SPREAD THE WORD
One of the best things you can do is to keep yourself and your friends informed. Sign up to get our latest stories about our conservation work delivered straight to your inbox so that you are equipped to lead your next dinner party with engaging tales of orangutan antics and the newest developments in their fight against extinction.