How to Avoid Products With Palm Oil

GO GREEN TIP #112:

How to Avoid Products with Palm Oil

 

What if we told you that a single ingredient contained in many of your favorite foods– palm oil– is wiping out rainforests all around the world, from Palawan, Philippines to the Brazilian Amazon?

 

What if we told you that palm oil is killing endangered species (orangutans being the most famous example) and destroying the livelihood of indigenous tribes? Would that be enough to convince you to stop using products with palm oil?

 

This guide will help you understand why palm oil production is so destructive, illustrate some of the myriad products with palm oil we should avoid, and give you ideas on how to make those products at home so that you can feel good about the food you’re putting into your body.

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Masirah Island Sea Turtle Tracks

Masirah Island- Searching for Sea Turtles

 

They don’t look like much.  To my unadjusted eye, they merely look like tire tracks leading to holes in soft sand.  But to those who know, like my husband, they mean only one thing – we are on an active turtle nesting beach.  We’ve been waiting for this moment for almost a week.

 

We are in Oman, a land of forts and frankincense, Bedouins and wadis, desert dunes and rugged coastline.  But for us, Oman is first and foremost a country whose white sand beaches serve as the yearly nesting sites for tens of thousands of sea turtles.  Ever since Bruno described his cherished memory of watching turtles lay their eggs in the sand here, it’s been the experience I’ve longed for most in Oman.

 

And so we headed for Ras al Jinz, a turtle nesting site of internationally-recognized importance.  Every year, over 20,000 female green turtles – an endangered species – plod up the beach here to dig deep trenches with their rear flippers into the soft sand and deposit their eggs.

 

And every night, one hundred tourists watch the turtles in this most-intimate of act.

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Top Travel Destinations of 2016: 35 Travel Bloggers' Picks

Top Travel Destinations of 2016

35 Travel Bloggers’ Picks

 

Last year we interviewed five ecotourism experts on 2015’s Top Travel Destinations.

 

This year we decided to ask some of the most well-traveled authorities we know– veteran bloggers who specialize in adventure travel, ecotourism, cultural travel and family travel– to get their expert opinions on the best destinations for nature-lovers to travel in 2016.

 

A whopping 35 of them responded, giving us this epic 5700-word guide to some of the coolest places on the planet. From snowshoeing in Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Scuba diving the Andaman Islands to gorilla-trekking in Rwanda and exploring Son Doong Cave in Vietnam, you’ll want to settle in a comfy chair and immerse yourself in these incredible, once-in-a-lifetime adventures.

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Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund President/CEO Tara StoinskiDian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

An Interview with President/CEO Tara Stoinski

 

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the murder of Dian Fossey, whose groundbreaking research and anti-poaching initiatives helped bring Mountain Gorillas back from the brink of extinction.

 

Along with Jane Goodall and Biruté Galdikas, Fossey was one of three iconic primatologists led by legendary archaeologist/paleontologist Louis Leakey. Known as the Trimates or “Leakey’s Angels,” these women made huge strides in field research of primates in their natural habitats, which Leakey believed was as crucial as archaeology to unraveling the mysteries of human evolution. And they did it in an era when females in scientific research were considered highly controversial.

 

Dian Fossey with Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda

Dian Fossey, photo courtesy Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

 

A 1970 National Geographic cover story and the 1988 biopic Gorillas In The Mist made Fossey famous, and her work in Rwanda influenced nearly every aspect of gorilla conservation today. Unfortunately, her interactions with locals were not so productive. Her aggressive tactics to protect the gorillas made many enemies among government officials and local indigenous peoples, many of whom poached animals in the forests the gorillas inhabited in order to feed their families. 

 

On December 26, 1985, Fossey was tragically killed in her sleep. The mystery of her murder has never been solved, and her marked grave at the remote Karisoke research camp has long since fallen into ruin. But the non-profit Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International continues her work, helping Rwanda’s Mountain Gorilla population grow from 254 individuals in 1981 to around 500 today (more than half the total remaining population of around 900).

 

After our incredible experience trekking to see Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda a few months ago, we interviewed DFGFI CEO/President Tara Stoinski. A leader in the world of primate conservation (including serving on the executive committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Section on Great Apes and as a conservation advisor for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Gorilla Species Survival Plan), Stoinski spoke with us about Dian Fossey’s legacy and the vital work her organization is doing for gorilla conservation today.

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Countries that don't celebrate Christmas

Countries That Don’t Celebrate Christmas

 

Christmas is a time of year when the world comes together in the spirit of giving, love and hope for mankind. This religious and cultural celebration is observed by billions of people annually on December 25. But while it has its roots in religious traditions dating back thousands of years, Christmas has become largely a secular holiday today.

 

Christmas traditions around the world do, however, vary from country to country. Many nations install and light Christmas trees, hang advent wreaths, and put out their Christmas stockings and candy canes. Christian countries re-enact nativity scenes, which depict the birth of Jesus Christ. They also partake in religious observances such as midnight Mass, with the month of advent being one of the most important periods on the Christian calendar.

 

But Christmas is not actually as global as you may think. In fact, there are many countries that don’t celebrate it at all. The following are just a few of the dozens of places around the world where December 25 is just another day. If you’re looking to escape the commercialism and hustle and bustle of Christmas, these countries just may be the perfect place!

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• AFRICA
Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Madagascar- Ring-tailed Lemurs at Anja Reserve
Morocco- A Journey into the Atlas Mountains
South Africa- Londolozi Game Reserve Safari
South Africa- Kruger National Park
South Africa- South Africa- Zulu Memories
Tanzania- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

 
• ANTARCTICA
How To Get To Antarctica w/out Doing the Drake
The Haunting Beauty of Icebergs
Penguins of Antarctica
Taking the Polar Plunge
Top 5 Eco Attractions in Antarctica
Whales of Antarctica
 
• ASIA
Borneo- Sabah Ecotourism Attractions
India- Ranthambhore National Park
India- Tibetan Culture In Ladakh
Laos- The Pastoral Paradise of Muang Ngoi
Malaysia- Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Malaysia- Orangutan Conservation at Sepilok
Nepal- Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
Taiwan- Top 5 Eco Activities in Taipei
Thailand- Top 5 National Parks
 
• AUSTRALIA/OCEANIA
Australia- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Australia-Kangaroo Island
Australia-Maria Island
New Zealand- Kapiti Island
New Zealand- Tongariro National Park
New Zealand- Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions
Tahiti- First Impressions
Tahiti- Photo Gallery
Tahiti- Moorea 4x4 Safari Tour
Tahiti- Moorea, Tiki Village Theater
Tahiti- Pearl Diving in Bora Bora
Tahiti- Ruahatu Marine Sanctuary, Bora Bora
Tahiti- Swimming With Sharks in Bora Bora
Tonga- Eua Island Eco Activities

 

• NORTH AMERICA
CANADA
Churchill- Into the Wild of Manitoba
Churchill- Polar Bear Fight
Churchill- Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Churchill- Tundra Wildlife

UNITED STATES
America’s Best Volcanoes
AL- Fishing Mobile Bay
AL- Mobile Carnival Museum
AK- Denali National Park
CA- Hiking The John Muir Trail
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
FL- Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
GA- Barnsley Gardens
GA- Top 5 Autumn Activities Around Atlanta
GA- Best Christmas Light Displays
GA- Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events
GA- Jekyll Island Eco Activities
GA- Weekend in North GA Mountains
GA- Top 5 Eco Attractions in North GA
HI- Hawaii’s Big Island
HI- Hawaiian Mythology
HI - Top 5 Kauai Nature Attractions
LA- Lafayette Cajun Food Tour
LA- Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday
LA- Voodoo Museum
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Asheville's Top Ecotourism Attractions
NC- Greensboro Travel Guide
NC- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
NC- Outer Banks Wild Horses
NM- Top 5 Eco Attractions
NY- Going Green in NYC
TX- Sea Turtle Rescue, South Padre Island
WV- Outdoor Adventures
Yellowstone- Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone- Lamar Valley
Yellowstone- Grand Canyon & Hayden Valley
Yellowstone- Upper Geyser Basin
Yellowstone- Lower Geyser Basin

MEXICO
Cancun- Cancun Underwater Museum
Cancun- Mayan Museum of Archaeology
Cancun- Swimming with Whale Sharks
Riviera Maya- Monkeys, Pyramids & Pottery
Riviera Maya- Rio Secreto
Riviera Maya- Tulum & Coba
 
• CARIBBEAN