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  • Palm oil is something you`ll find in everything from crackers to microwave popcorn, to shampoo.

  • It is the most widely used vegetable oil on the planet. Mars Incorporated, the maker of

  • Snickers, Skittles, (INAUDIBLE), Lifesavers, Five Gum, says from here on out, it`s only

  • going to use palm oil that`s obtained without hurting the environment. One way to do that

  • is by planting oil palm trees and making sure that much of the palm oil they produce goes

  • to good use.

  • But there`s another way to get the ingredient. One that`s more harmful for the environment,

  • one that involves deforestation. What does that matter?

  • Deforestation is the practice of cutting down forests for various different reasons, but

  • it`s fundamentally cutting down trees and living behind a vast open wasteland.

  • Deforestation is most common in countries like Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico, Papua New

  • Guinea, and Russia.

  • The main causes of deforestation can be classified into three categories. Basically, industrial

  • uses, chopping down the forest to build factories or to build residential areas. The second

  • one is agriculture. So cutting down forest in order to grow, for example palm oil plantations.

  • Agricultural deforestation can also be caused by non-food crops, for example, paper plantations.

  • And the third cause is life stock. So, in many places, for example, in Brazil, deforestation

  • is caused by farmers clearing the land to create pasture land for cows.

  • Deforestation can happen on a lot of different scales. It can be anything from illegal squatting,

  • a dozen folks in local village using small rudimentary chainsaws and cutting down the

  • trees and then, of course, on the other end of the spectrum is massive industrial scale.

  • Deforestation, when they bring in lots of heavy machinery for advanced technology, and

  • they can go in and clear forest in a very short amount of time.

  • Deforestation affects the environment in two main ways: trees, of course, absorb carbon

  • dioxide and as human beings put more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the more

  • trees we cut down, the more we hinder the ability of the planet to balance how much

  • carbon is in the atmosphere.

  • But another impact of chopping down forests is, of course, reducing the habitat for animals

  • to live in. Every year over thousand different species go extinct around the world. That

  • is a conservative estimate, and a big chunk of that happens because of deforestation.

Palm oil is something you`ll find in everything from crackers to microwave popcorn, to shampoo.

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