Do you ever feel like you are literally surrounded by palm oil? Since it is the most popular oil for consumer goods, your paranoia may be warranted. Although many companies have made a commitment toward sourcing 100 percent sustainable palm oil, there are still many flaws in the RSPO’s system and there is still a boatload of companies that have yet to make any real progress on this front. While there are positives in the move toward sustainable palm oil, to ensure that you are not inadvertently funding deforestation with your purchases, the safest bet is to avoid palm oil altogether.
This can be a hard task as palm oil operates under pseudonyms like “palmate” or can be used as a derivative for other compounds like sodium lauryl sulfate, but, do not fear! There are many planet-friendly alternatives to palm oil-ridden products, you just need to know where to find them.
Since palm oil tends to pop up in everything from laundry detergent and make-up to highly processed snacks, the best way to avoid palm oil is by going natural with your cooking, cleaning, and personal hygiene-ing. Here are a few tips you can use to avoid palm oil in your life. Not only are these alternatives better for your conscience but they’re great for your health (and the planet’s) as well.
Palm Oil-Free Baking
Swap Your “Butter” Spreads
Store-bought margarine/butter alternatives have been known to contain palm oil, so rather than risking it, try these alternatives instead:
- Avocado: Packed with healthy fats and known for its anti-inflammatory benefits, avocado is a wonderful alternative. You can find instructions on how to use avocado in place of butter spreads with instructions for substituting ratios here.
- Olive Oil: A no-brainer, olive oil goes great on toast, pasta, you name it. I highly recommend using it in place of PAM or other gross cooking sprays. It works just as well (if not better) to keep your food from sticking to the pan.
- Coconut Oil: Using coconut oil in baked goods is one of the best choices you can make for super delicious results. You can substitute coconut oil in a 1:1 ratio for recipes that call for butter/other oils. Coconut oil has gotten a bad rap for being high in fats, but they are healthy fats that are vital for your health, so chow down.
Palm Oil-Free Cleaning
Ditch the big-name detergent and make your own laundry soap. Not only will this save you some cash and keep palm oil out of your laundry routine, but it is a great way to avoid toxic chemical additives used in conventional detergent. Check out these instructions to learn how to make your own laundry soap. I recommend using one of these soap bars instead of castile, just to be safe!
Distilled white vinegar and baking soda are really the only two products you need for cleaning a kitchen or bathroom. Say goodbye to harsh chemical cleaners packed with palm oil derivatives and embrace a much cleaner lifestyle. Learn how to make your own cleaner here.
Palm Oil-Free Personal Hygiene
You really don’t need to look any further than your pantry to find natural, palm oil-free alternatives to many beauty products. Check out this article for instructions on how to make natural make-up.
Shampoo and Body
This article is a wonderful resource for DIY all-natural shampoos, conditioners, exfoliators, and moisturizers. Since palm oil and palm derivatives run rampant in the commercial versions of these products, making your own is your best bet to avoid accidentally supporting palm-related deforestation.
The many benefits of living a palm oil-free lifestyle greatly outweigh the alternative. If you have any other tips for how to avoid palm oil or have DIY alternatives to consumer products, feel free to leave comments below! The more information we have, the easier it will be to drop palm oil from our daily lives and move forward towards a more sustainable future.