Every Easter 80 million chocolate eggs are sold in the UK alone. Worldwide consumption of chocolate tots up to approximately 7.2 million tons a year. But with growing demand comes an impact on deforestation, biodiversity, climate change and human rights.
How to make the change
Try eating less chocolate and making alternatives, like these delish vegan energy balls (just skip the cocoa powder). If you can’t live without the brown stuff, make sure you choose products with the right labels – Fairtrade, Organic and Rainforest Alliance. The latter, and organisations like it, works with farmers to enable cocoa plantations that work for the rainforest, not against it.
Why make the change?
Growing cocoa takes vast areas of land, and sadly the rainforest loses out as farmers slash and burn to clear trees, killing all plant and animal life in their path. Intense cocoa farming methods erode the soil and strip it of nutrients, meaning farmers have to abandon the land and destroy yet more forest. Rainforests are vital for storing carbon dioxide and controlling climate change. The cocoa industry has also been widely criticised for its use of child labor and slavery, so it’s important to support fairtrade.
Be a climate ninja
Find a charity or organisation, like the Fairtrade Cocoa Project, that helps farmers grow more sustainable and fair cocoa. Volunteer to help create a better industry that enhances biodiversity, the rainforest and worker’s lives.