Removing palm oil from your day to day life is hard. Reading labels on everything you buy, seeking out alternatives, buying certain elements of your shop online because you can't get them in your regular supermarket. Cutting out almost all processed food, changing your skincare and haircare routines. It's time consuming, some elements of it can be expensive and it affects the whole family.
I would LOVE to think that all consumers were in a position to vote with their wallet and completely cut out palm oil. But I'm also a realist. So many people want to make a positive change to avoid palm oil, but just can't manage to cut it out completely.
And I don't want this to stop people from making a positive change - and it shouldn't have to. It is easy to look at your diet and lifestyle and decide on one element that you can easily change to cut out palm oil. Palm oil and its derivatives are in around half of everything that we purchase in the supermarket. And if we all changed just one element, think how much less palm oil would be used.
I have a few suggestions of easy changes to make, but it really is a matter for you to decide which products you could do without or replace. So here are five simple ideas that might help you to make a positive change.
1. Eat less processed food
Virtually all processed food contains palm oil in one form or another. So why not have one day a week where you go without it? This would benefit your health and well-being, your diet, your wallet and it would have a huge impact on the environment.
2. Make smarter cosmetics choices
Cosmetics are notoriously bad in terms of ethics. Animal testing, chemical ingredients and of course the use of palm oil. I don't wear a great deal of make-up anyway, but I have switched to PHB Ethical Beauty. They are free from both palm oil and palm oil derivatives as well as other nasties, and they don't test on animals.
3. Don't use unnecessary hair products
As a female, I have definitely been guilty in the past of buying a ridiculous number of products that all promised to be the miracle solution for my hair. Conditioner, deep conditioner, leave in conditioner. Styling products, mousse, hair spray, gel, dyes, special shampoo that stops the dye from coming out, products that make it straight, products that make it curly, anti-chlorine shampoo and conditioner. How ridiculous. They probably all contain palm oil as well as a plethora of other nasties. These days, I just use the soap bar from Friendly Soap. This contains plenty of conditioning oils so I don't need any other products.
4. Eat better chocolate
I really don't see a downside to this one. There are some amazing chocolate companies listed in our food directory. I can safely say that they are all better quality and superior in taste than the more commonly purchased brands. IQ superfood chocolate is in fact that holy grail of chocolate that is good for you! And of course, they are all ethically produced and palm oil free.
5. Go back to basics - use soap
In recent years, we have all started to turn to liquid soaps, shower gels and hand-washes. Perhaps they feel easier or a bit more hygienic. But a couple of years ago, I remember watching a television programme that did an experiment to see which of them got your hands the cleanest when washing. It turned out it didn't matter if you used a bar of soap or an antibacterial hand wash. You got your hands cleaner if you washed them properly. It's not rocket science but it could change the world. Check our our toiletries directory to find some amazing soap producers that don't use palm oil or derivatives.