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16 March 2018

How to have an ethical Easter

Lots of chocolate is consumed at Easter to celebrate the occasion but this can cause more harm to the environment than you might think. Below are five important aspects to consider when purchasing chocolate to help you have an ethical Easter.

Is it palm oil free chocolate?

Around 300 football fields of the world’s most biologically diverse rainforests are felled every hour for palm oil plantations, killing around 6000 orangutans, plus Sumatran tigers and many other species every year.

Australians unknowingly consume on average 10 kilograms of palm oil each year and unclear food labelling makes it hard for people to exercise their consumer choice. Palm oil is a high yield and low cost versatile ingredient used extensively in most manufactured foods, cleaning products, body care, make up and bio fuels. Inadequate government labelling regulations allow brands to hide palm oil behind more than 200 alternate names such as vegetable oil, Glycerine, Plant Surfactant and Caprylic Triglyceride, making it extremely confusing for consumers to identify. Palm oil-based butter which mimics the taste of cocoa butter is used extensively by chocolate manufacturers as a production cost saving measure. When purchasing chocolate this Easter, make sure you purchase 100 percent palm oil free chocolate

Is it ethically made and Fairtrade? 

Is the chocolate made and owned by locals? Where was the coco sourced? Was it grown and harvested sustainably? Were the workers treated and remunerated fairly?

These are the questions that you should ask yourself before purchasing chocolate for Easter. According to Choice, approximately 70 percent of chocolate consumed globally is sourced from West Arica where over two million children under the age of 18, some trafficked, work under treacherous conditions to harvest the cocoa. By purchasing ethically made and Fairtrade chocolate, you’re supporting cocoa farmers who provide safe and sustainable employment for their community.

Do you need to consider food allergies?

It’s important to consider if the recipient has any food allergies when purchasing chocolate this Easter as you don’t want to cause any allergic reactions. Are they lactose or gluten intolerant? There is a wide range of dairy free and gluten free Easter chocolate options for people with food allergies.

Does it align with the recipient’s values?

Shopping by a person’s values is important to remember when purchasing Easter chocolate especially if the person lives a vegan, cruelty free or palm oil free lifestyle. There is a large range of vegan chocolate available from local chocolate artisan. 

Is the packaging environmentally friendly?

Most Easter chocolates are wrapped in aluminium foil which is recyclable through council recycling bins but only if you follow the correct guidelines to ensure it is filtered correctly at the recycling facility. Collect all the small used aluminium foil wrappers and scrunch them up into a tight large ball then place it in your recycling bin. This will ensure the ball is sorted correctly and has the highest possible chance at being recycled.

Author & Editor

Tracey Bailey is the founder of Biome Eco Stores and mother of two. After working in corporate communications and starting a family, she made a choice to be part of the solution to our planet's future and started Biome Eco Stores. Tracey is passionate about educating the community about living eco-friendly and sustainable lives through her extended product, chemical, health and environmental knowledge.


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