Waste Not

attempting to waste less and live more deliberately

Happy Fair Trade Valentines Day!

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Chocolate! Mmmmmmmm, the sweet taste of….Child Slave Labor?

Sorry to chocolate rain on your chocolate parade (anybody get the reference?), but the bitter truth is hard to swallow. The good news is, there is a better way that is quite satisfying.

If you are anything like me, the first thing you think about when you are given a bar of chocolate is How fast can I get this in my mouth?

Turns out, you may want to give pause for another though, like How did this bar of chocolate come to be?

In an effort to keep things short and sweet, below are a few well written and highly informative articles regarding the topic and below that, there are some tips on how to enjoy chocolate sans cruelty.

The Art Of Simple 

The far majority of chocolate is in our stores because of forced child labor. And unless we tell the guilty companies that this isn’t okay, this will keep happening.

Read more HERE.

Grist, A Beacon In The Smog

Just in case these weren’t reasons enough to steer clear of the big brands, you can also expect your drugstore chocolate to be filled with everyone’s favorite ingredient: GMOs. (Hershey and Mars are reported to have spent a combined $1 million-plus to defeat California’s Prop 37.) So all of the dicey politics and questionable science you taste in your cornflakes are in your Russell Stover’s chocolates, too.

Read more HERE.

Rage Against The Minivan

But honestly, what concerns me even more is that we, as consumers, are not demanding that this be stopped.  People continue to buy chocolate even after learning about the harm to children in Africa.  I’ve heard excuses from people in my own life that sound pretty similar to the ones I made in the coffee post.  We rationalize that we can’t afford fair-trade.  We joke about how addicted we are.  We justify that we can’t change everything.  And I think secretly, we don’t relate because these are kids in a far-off country, and not our own.  It’s okay as long as we don’t have to see it happening right in front of us.

Read more HERE.

Action Item

Eat chocolate, fair trade chocolate that is!


What is Fair Trade?

Fair trade is an approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks to create greater equity in the international trading system.

Fair trade supports farmers and craftspeople in developing countries who are socially and economically marginalized. These producers lack economic opportunity and often face steep hurdles in finding markets and customers for their goods.

Fair trade is much more than just trade. At the core of the fair trade model is a direct, cooperative, and in-depth relationship between buyers and sellers that keeps all of the principles of fair trade at the forefront.

What Does that Really Mean?

Fair Trade is about making a tremendous impact on artisan and farmer communities while offering great products to the public.

Fairly traded clothing, coffee, food, furniture, home decor, housewares, jewelry, tea, toys, personal accessories, and many other products are available from Fair Trade Organizations. Communities are improved; nutritional needs met; health care costs are covered; the poor, especially women, are empowered; the environmental impact of production, sourcing, and transport is mitigated to the fullest extent possible. Such an impact is created because Fair Trade approaches development as a holistic process.

visit fairtradefederation.org for more info.

My Chocolate of Choice….


Not only does Madecasse employ fair trade practices, they also cut the supply chain thus decreasing excess costs thereby increasing the flow of income directly to the farmers. Another benefit of a shorter supply chain is the increased transparency which protects both the producer and the consumer.

infographic-1Also, it tastes amazing! Learn more HERE.

What’s your favorite fair trade sweet?



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