BILBIES NOT BUNNIES AND BOYCOTT PALM OIL!
In the turf war between rabbits and bilbies that plays out in burrows dug into Australia’s arid grasslands, rabbits, those aggressive and fertile European immigrants, have largely won out. However, the chocolate bilby has staked its claim on the springtime candy shelf — an honor that could help the threatened species make a real comeback.
Never heard of a bilby? Well, it’s a cute, rabbit-sized marsupial with large ears and a long, pointed nose; once upon a time, it hopped around much of Australia. But the arrival of European settlers some 200 years ago brought hard times for the bilbies. Cities and farms destroyed habitat. Foxes and feral cats preyed on them. And rabbits eventually pushed the bilbies out of their burrows. “[The rabbits] were eating everything in their way,” says David Paton, an ecologist at the University of Adelaide. Today the bilby numbers only in the thousands, but Easter traditions – and chocolate in particular — have helped keep the bilby’s image going strong.
Pink Lady Chocolates and Haigh’s Chocolates have teamed up with the Save The Bilby Fund to provide the Australians with their own Easter Bilby. Proceeds from the sale of these bilbies goes towards research, breeding programs and the conservation of the endangered creatures. “At Easter time it seems ludicrous to me that less than one percent of the chocolate market is bilbies and all the rest are rabbits. Millions and millions of dollars have been spent in the last hundred or so years by all forms of governments, state, local and federal in trying to rid Australia of rabbits, and yet here we are celebrating Easter with rabbits! It’s ludicrous!” – Frank Manthey.Easter Sunday 2016 is the 27th March this year. Look for Pink Lady Bilby Chocolates with the GREEN TAG that show the donation amount to Save the Bilby Fund. You can hunt for chocolate bilbies at Ritchies/IGA, Target, Australia Post, Big W, Myers, David Jones, plus many specialty shops.
Mount Waverley Primary school is proud to sponsor several bilbies with Save The Bilby Fund and Arid recovery. For more information on bilbies go to http://www.savethebilbyfund.org.au or http://www.aridrecovery.org.au/arid-recovery-news/bilbies-not-bunnies-this-easter
WHY IS PALM OIL SO BAD?
Did you know that approximately 50% of products on supermarket shelves contain palm oil? What’s more, Easter-related products are a haven for sneaky palm oil.
So how do you avoid it?
These are a few brands we know of that are palm oil free or have certain products that are:
– Haigh’s Chocolate blocks
– Pana Chocolate
– Lindt & Sprungli – Lindt Excellence and Lindt Creation chocolate blocks (Note that filled products such as Lindor do contain palm oil)
– Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate blocks – Dairy Milk, Old Gold, Dream
– Aldi Stores: Choceur, Just Organics, Moser-Roth
What about Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO)?
100% Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) is produced in a way that helps protect the last remaining habitat for wildlife and preserves the livelihoods of producers. By buying from companies using either CSPO or sustainable alternatives to palm oil, you can enjoy some wildlife-friendly, guilt-free chocolates.
The key is to know how to identify palm oil in a product (read the post below for more on this) and if it does contain palm oil, but has no reference to being certified 100% segregated, or 100% identity preserved, then think about choosing another product.
READ MORE: What’s the deal with palm oil labelling? How to identify palm oil
READ MORE: Eggcellent: How to make this Easter a sustainable one.
Why is palm oil such a big issue?
When tropical forests are cleared to make way for oil palm plantations, carbon is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2 ), the gas that is the leading cause of climate change; tropical deforestation accounts for about10 percent of total global warming emissions (UCS 2013).
Indonesia was the world’s seventh-largest emitter of global warming pollution in 2009, and deforestation accounted for about 30 percent of these emissions (WRI 2013). Indeed, for that same year Indonesia ranked second (behind Brazil) in the amount of global warming pollution it produced because of deforestation (WRI 2013).
It’s estimated that 98% of Indonesian forest will be gone in 9 years due to palm oil plantations.
Palm Oil is a major problem, and it is up to us as consumers to make a difference. It is up to us to boycott the brands that contain palm oil, or who are not trying to source responsible palm oil, and protest against those who create this destruction of habitat.