14 Aug 2017


Imagine this: a calming stream from a nearby waterfall sets the ambience. The call of a bird, a hornbill echoes through the damp air. A mother orangutan with a baby on her back, swings playfully branch to branch through the low-hanging canopy of majestic trees, their tangle of orange hair contrasting against the deep greens of tropical rainforest. That’s the dream rainforest we’d like to imagine.

However, these days the scene is different. Birdsong has been replaced by chainsaws. Rivers have dissipated or are coloured brown from the residue of deforestation. From above, much of the land is stripped bare, leaving our orange friends vulnerable to looming dangers.

The Borneo rainforest is under threat of being destroyed due to the pressure of human demands, and with it, the homes of the beloved orangutan.

WWF is committed to orangutan conservation. We’re working with local communities, companies and governments to ensure they have safe places to live. This means addressing the immediate impacts as well as the underlying causes of deforestation and degradation.

So much of this work is complex and at times, may sound overwhelming. So what can we as individuals do to help? Every one of us has a role to play, even if it’s through the smallest contribution.

Here are 5 ways that everyone can play a role in saving the Borneo rainforest:

1. Make sustainable shopping choices

Every consumer choice we make is a decision on how we want the future of our planet to be. So it’s important we know whether the things we buy have been made sustainably. This includes products that use timber, paper and palm oil. When shopping for wood and paper products, look for the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) label on packaging. For beauty and food products, make sure that they’ve been produced using sustainable palm oil.

FSC logo painted on sustainable harvested logs
FSC logo painted on sustainable harvested logs © N C Turner / WWF

2. Get in contact with your favourite brands

As a consumer, it can be really hard to make environmentally friendly choices. Sometimes it’s easier to go for the convenient, cheaper option. Shopping shouldn’t be difficult. That’s why it’s important companies realise we want to purchase our favourite products knowing that it doesn’t have a negative impact on the environment.

Get in contact with your favourite brands and let them know that you want them to source and produce their products sustainably.

3. Make small changes to your daily routine

It may not seem like much, but small things can make a huge difference. It’s as simple as reducing, reusing and recycling. For example, you can get a reusable cup for your morning coffee, which means you’ll be cutting down on the number of paper cups you’d throw away throughout the year.

Want to know more about how you can change the way you live? Check out our ecological footprint calculator.

4. Donate money to help WWF’s conservation work

Supporting organisations like WWF that can make a significant impact is a great way of being a part of the bigger solution. Your support funds our work to conserve, restore and sustainably manage forests, as well as to back policies and regulations that pave the way for a sustainable future.

Want to help WWF save orangutans and their homes? You can donate or adopt an orangutan today.

5. Raise awareness and lead by example

Many people don’t actually understand the connection between our daily consumer choices and the impact it has on the environment. It’s up to all of us to help spread awareness of the issue.

Often we don’t make sustainable choices because it seems like too much effort. But if we lead by example then it’ll have a positive ripple effect.

Help spread the word! Share this infographic and let your friends and family know that we can all make a difference.

5 Simple ways we can help orangutans and their homes
© WWF-Australia

Together, we can move our society forward to a more sustainable future.