People that live in the Indonesian rainforest are losing their livelihood, because of palm oil plantations that take over the forest. Most of the people facing this problem are the indigenous people that live in that area. The working conditions in the plantations are dangerous and unsafe. Children are forced to work, as they carry heavy loads, pull weeds and other very laborious work. I feel unhappy when I think about that people who want the plantations are taking advantage of the indigenous people in a bad way. Sometimes, the government of Indonesia thinks that the plantations are good, because they create jobs for the citizens. However, Indonesian palm oil plantations are breaking human rights, making child labour and paying inadequate wages.How have we changed our lifestyle to reflect this knowledge? It has not been simple.
1) We searched the labels of all different brands of margarine and discovered that all of them contain palm oil. Therefore, we have begun using butter instead of margarine for all of our home baking and cooking. One family member still prefers the taste of margarine on bread, so one tub of margarine remains in our refrigerator.
2) We have to be vigilant when buying processed foods, especially cookies and crackers. Sometimes we forget to check the label if something is on sale or we have a coupon for it. Our list of products to "no longer buy" keeps growing. It means that we are baking more of our own cookies.
All of these changes require a little more work and expense on our part, but to continue using a product we know harms indigenous communities abroad would violate our consciences.