One of the perpetual benefits of the Ethical Writers Coalition is learning from other members, and on the topic of palm-oil, Selva Beat is schooling us all. Selva Beat is a digital resource for a vegan and palm-oil free lifestyle. Although adding yet another sustainability filter to the Instagram of your life might seem as enticing as adopting Kelvin as a signature style, I promise the Selva Beat team makes it as fun as possible—I mean come on, they made an Easter egg hunt for palm-oil!
I must admit that I am not nearly knowledgeable enough about the issues surrounding palm-oil, a problematic ingredient unparalleled in its ubiquitousness. A few facts to consider (read more here):
- Palm-oil crops have a very high yield but, can only thrive 10 degrees north or south of the equator - an incredibly biorich stretch of land.
- The majority of palm-oil used is produced in Indonesia and Malaysia; home to unique wild populations of orangutans, rhinos, sun bears, elephants, clouded leopards, and proboscis monkeys, all of which are under the threat of becoming extinct as a result of the palm-oil industry.
- Indigenous peoples are also pushed out and displaced for access to farmable land.
Even if you aren't prepared to wipe palm-oil from your life just yet (baby steps), the magazine also covers veganism, environmentalism, slow living, and ethical shopping in a playful, approachable style. And the blog plus digital magazine, founded by Magdalena Atuña and Collin Philips, is committed not only to palm-oil education, but to supporting other community writers and artists (like me!).
I created several illustrations for Selva Beat's Spring '16 issue. Above is one I did for a piece by Brittany Barton about growing your own microgreens! And below are some icons I created to accompany an eco-friendly guide to Paris by Holly Rose. You can download the magazine for free to see more of our work (but consider making a donation to Selva Beat while you are there).