Saving the Orangutans: Be a Guardian of the Rainforest

Each summer, I put together a go-to folder of quiet activities for my kids to noodle on.

My junior’s project this summer was learning about the orangutans and the challenges deforestation has placed on the species.

Sounds heavy, I know, but my daughter learned it through a patch program through the Philadelphia Zoo . The zoo offers a virtual patch program designed by older Girl Scouts to teach others about palm oil, deforestation and orangutans. So on a lazy day, when she would have “I’m bored” moments, my science-loving girl could turn to her activity folder with the patch program printouts.Scout

The night before school began, she finished her requirements. But I’m proud of her for taking it one step further.

She became an activist.

One of her last assignments was to find companies committed to sustainable palm oil. And from a simple Google search, she found out that a common company was a big offender.

PepsiCo, maker of Lay’s chips and Quaker Chewy Granola Bars, two treats she enjoyed, uses more than 457,000 metric tons of palm oil each year. And that surprised her. And she took action, signing her name to a petition for PepsiCo to reconsider is practices. Even better, she put it in her own words.

I know I’m a kid but little voice from a kid can change the world. It’s my plan to make the world better for all creation human and animals alike.

And yes, kids can change the world.

The patch program was developed by two Girl Scouts – who themselves started by writing letters to GSUSA regarding palm oil use in the cookies. You can learn about what grew out of a simple letter, and Bronze Award project, here.



  1. I always check ingredients and if I see palm oil I always avoid the product, and it’s in a lot of products. I avoid it as if it’s not in its natural state (uncooked) is not healthy, and also some other reasons I no longer remember :P. I had no idea the manufacturing use of palm oil had a negative consequences for some animals homes, even more reason for me to avoid it. And your daughter did a great job on her letter. 🙂


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