How can you justify your addiction to Girl Scout cookies? By knowing that you’re saving orangutans.
Girl Scout cookie producers have pledged to sustainably source palm oil, which will help save orangutan habitats. Boxes made by these producers have either a GreenPalm logo or Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) logo, which “signifies that 100 percent of the palm oil used in this product has been certified by the RSPO. This supports farms that are growing palm oil using sustainable practices, respecting human rights and preventing deforestation,” according to girlscouts.org.
This is critical, because the forests where palm oil is grown are home to orangutans who have suffered significant habitat loss. “In Indonesia, the palm oil sector was the single largest driver of deforestation between 2009 and 2011, accounting for about a quarter of the country’s forest loss. Orangutans face extinction in Borneo due to habitat clearing, which is underway across Indonesia and Malaysia,” according to a 2013 Greenpeace article. If unchanged, 75 percent of Southeast Asia’s forest cover will be gone by 2030, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The Girl Scout cookie producers who have committed to sourcing sustainable palm oil are doing their part in protecting the home of orangutans. Therefore, by supporting these business, we are supporting their cause. It may even inspire more companies to do the same.
Girls Scouts of the USA first blessed Americans with their cookies in 1917. Over one hundred years later, it’s hard to imagine life without them.
A viral tweet written by Ally DiCesare and shared by Buzzfeed captures this sentiment: “There are five seasons: Winter, Spring, Girl Scout Cookie season, Summer and Fall.”
Considering the Girl Scout cookie season is so short, their success is mind-boggling. According to Business Insider, Girl Scout cookies rake in an average of $800 million annually, with Thin Mints accounting for the majority of sales. They sold about 1.6 billion cookies in 2013.
National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend is Feb. 23 to Feb. 25, so treat yourself to an extra box of guilt-free Thin Mints. If your cardiologist asks, tell them the orangutans are grateful.