Two Girl Scouts have earned their merit badge in effecting social change.
Madison Vorva, 16, and Rhiannon Tomtishen, 15, of Michigan started a campaign five years ago urging the Girl Scouts of America to stop using palm oil in its cookies, the Wall Street Journal reports. Now, the company will tell bakers to use as little of the oil as possible, purchase GreenPalm certificates and will try to switch to sustainable oil by 2015.
In 2006, Madison and Rhiannon started doing research on endangered orangutans for a Bronze Award leadership project. When they found out that many of the brands of cookies they were shilling contributed to habitat deforestation in rainforests, they created Project O.R.A.N.G.S and stopped selling the treats.
The girls continued their fight for years, rallying other Scouts and high-profile groups, including the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Rainforest Action Network. They were profiled by the Wall Street Journal in May, shortly before they met with Girl Scouts officials in New York.
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