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It’s time for deforestation-free Girl Scout cookies!

Back in 2007, Madison Vorva and Rhiannon Tomtishen sent one single email to the Girl Scouts of the USA—that one email has grown into a six-year campaign to make Girl Scout cookies deforestation-free. In researching orangutans to earn the Girl Scout Bronze Award, Madi and Rhiannon learned that orangutans are facing extinction because their homes, the tropical forests, are being cleared—in many cases to make room for giant palm oil plantations.

Ever since they learned about this issue, the two scouts have been working hard to change the policies of the Girl Scouts USA. As tropical deforestation also accounts for about 15 percent of global warming pollution worldwide, in 2010 the Union of Concerned Scientists joined forces with Madi and Rhiannon. We've written letters to the Girl Scouts organization and their cookie bakers, we've had phone calls and meetings with executives from the organization, and we've provided scientific and technical information to help Girl Scouts of the USA understand the importance of removing deforestation from their supply chains.

Yet nearly six years later, Girl Scout cookies are still not rainforest-safe. Now, we need your help!
Together we need to tell the Girl Scouts USA and every business that uses palm oil that we can’t wait any longer. Joining this effort is as simple as sending an email, tweeting, or sharing the story on facebook. Every action counts.

Step 1: Send an email the Girl Scouts of the USA right now.
Send an email to the Girl Scouts USA urging them to make their cookies deforestation free.  Let the Girl Scouts USA know that you love their delicious cookies - but that you also love organutans and the forests they live in, and encourage the Girl Scouts USA to continue to work towards forest-friendly cookies.

Step 2: Spread the word about palm oil and tropical forests. 
Check out our report, Recipes for Success: Solutions for Deforestation-Free Vegetable Oils, to learn more about the steps businesses can take to ensure that their vegetable oil (and especially their palm oil) is not causing tropical deforestation.   Then share the report with your friends!

Step 3: Check the products in your own house for palm oil, and let companies know that you want them to be using deforestation-free vegetable oil!
Madi and Rhiannon’s campaign started with a single email—and yours can too! The problem with palm oil is larger than just Girl Scout cookies. Palm oil is in everything from cookies and ice cream to shampoo and laundry detergent. Every single company that changes their policies to ensure that their palm oil is deforestation-free will help transform the global market for palm oil. You can make a difference by checking the products you buy for palm oil, and when you find it, send an email asking that company to make sure their palm oil is deforestation-free!

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