Art, Plants and Animals

“No” to palm oil

It is worth saying a loud ‘no’ to palm oil because its production is one of the main factors in the deforestation of rainforests, leading to the devastation of the natural habitat of orangutans and other endangered species. The destruction of forests also results in the emission of large amounts of greenhouse gases and increases the risk of wildfires, which has a negative impact on climate and biodiversity. In addition, unethical practices such as the use of child labour and slavery are often used in the palm oil production process. Therefore, it is important to avoid products containing palm oil and promote alternative sources of food and everyday products that do not contribute to environmental destruction and human rights violations.

Palm oil is widely used in the food, cosmetic and biofuel industries. It can be found in products such as margarine, chocolate, biscuits, bars, chips, wafers, instant soups, condiments, jellies, frozen pizza, ice cream, as well as in some types of soaps, shampoos, body lotions and toothpaste. However, it is worth noting that not every food or cosmetic product contains palm oil, and its presence is always indicated on the label.

Teaching children to read food labels is important to help them choose products that are healthy and suitable for them. We suggest playing a game with children to help them find products without palm oil.

In addition, it is a good idea to ask children to go shopping with their parents and look at the real labels of different products, checking if they contain palm oil.

Goal: to consolidate knowledge about the harmfulness of palm oil production to the orangutan environment.

Time: 25 minutes


Game boards (available for download on the left side).

Course of the task

The game involves children having two images in front of them: one depicting a beautiful rainforest and the other a burning forest. Then, in a random order, they are shown images of different food products. Some of them contain palm oil, while others do not (indicated by a small crossed-out palm symbol). The children’s task is to match the images of palm oil-free products to the rainforest image and images of products with palm oil to the burning forest image.

In this way, children learn how to distinguish products containing palm oil and understand the consequences of its excessive production for rainforests and the natural environment. Furthermore, a trip to the store with their parents becomes an opportunity to learn how to read labels and recognize different ingredients in food products. Through such play, children can begin to think about the products they purchase and the implications their choices have for the environment and other beings on Earth.

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The post was created as part of a project co-financed by Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt in cooperation with Naturschutzzentrum Oberlausitzer Bergland.