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Posts Tagged ‘equal exchange’

Try REVERSE Trick-or-Treating This Halloween!

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Guest post

Halloween should be fun, right? Unfortunately, a scary reality is that one of the biggest nights for the chocolate industry supports a system that relies on forced child labor on many West African cocoa farms. But you can do something to help stop such practices and still enjoy Halloween.

This October, families, organizations, and businesses across the U.S. can help children forced to work on West African cocoa farms by participating in the 5th annual Reverse Trick-or-Treating campaign. By handing out organic, Fair Trade chocolates from Equal Exchange with attached informational cards when they go trick-or-treating, participants can bring critically important attention to the thousands of children who are trafficked and forced to work in horrible conditions on West African cocoa farms.

This year’s Reverse Trick-or-Treating program marks the 10th anniversary of the September, 2001, signing of the Harkin-Engel Protocol that called for an end to the worst forms of child labor in the cocoa supply chains of the major chocolate companies. The campaign to raise awareness that there is a Fair Trade alternative to child labor was launched in 2007, two years after the deadline had passed for signatories to end the worst forms of child labor. Ten years after the protocol’s signing, most of its conditions have still not been met.

Equal Exchange knows there’s a better way to go and instead sources its Fair Trade and organic cocoa from farms in the Dominican Republic, Panama, Peru, and Ecuador. The vanilla from Madagascar and sugar from Paraguay for Equal Exchange’s chocolate are also certified Fair Trade and organic.

Contributed by: Kelsie Evans, Equal Exchange Chocolate Products Coordinator

Los Angeles: Mother-daughter team add some humor to the greening

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Mother-daughter pair, Rochelle and Ally Maize, have green in common. They also share a great sense of humor.

Check out how this green realtor (mom, Rochelle) and founder of Green Youth Movement (daughter, Ally) decorated their Beverly Hills, CA home for Halloween (using eco-friendly materials and sharing some good laughs, we’re sure).






According to Rochelle, “80 % of our decorations are hand made.  100% are recycled from year to year. During the month, we had hundreds of people come by and take pictures.  As people drive by, see the  yard & stop- it’s all most caused so many accidents, but luckily no problems so far.”


Rochelle and Ally also added an “eek-o-friendly sustainable garden” (see video, below). “This was incredible with 3 scarecrows and lots of fun items inside.  One of our scarecrows was even upside down.  Everything made from scratch!”

High five, Rochelle and Ally!

And what did the Green Halloween home give away to the little ghosts and goblins who came by this Halloween?

Tree coupons, Equal Exchange organic/ Fair Trade chocolate, Cascadian Farm granola bars, and Larabars, of course.

And over 400 of their neighborhood trick-or-treaters thought their healthy, green goodies were fabulous.

Said Rochelle, “I cant tell you how many moms thank us for what we were doing.  The mom’s favorite were the tree coupons!  They then had to start explaining fair trade chocolate to their kids!  The adults went nuts and loved it.  Even a lot of the kids thought it was so cool that we planted trees for the trick o\ treaters!  A few of the younger ones wanted to see where the trees were- it was too cute!”

But for Rochelle and Ally, being Los Angeles’ Green Halloween coordinators and decorating for Halloween wasn’t ALL fun and games.

“We hosted the Green Youth Movement Costume Exchange on October 25th.  All the members & some Board members brought a costume and picked a new one.  It was great!  The kids also filmed a  You tube video at this meeting explaining there top 5 tips for Greening their Halloween!”

“The kids had a blast and loved this event!  The girls continued their meeting and decided to go to their own schools and post the tips.  One of our members fell so in love with the idea, she decided to change the theme of her birthday party which was October 30th – to “Green Halloween”.

“She hosted 80 kids , had a DJ and I ended up donating 80 reusable GYM bags for her party favors with the 5 tips printed in each bag & “Live Green” GYM bracelets.  The kids all used the bags for trick or treating!!!!”

Not surprisingly, Rochelle wanted to have some Green Halloween fun, too.

“I had a HalloWINE tasting and dinner Hallowine night.  I had about 30 guests- all in costume.  I was a GO Green cheerleader and my husband was a recycled Garbage can!  I think we definitely made a statement this year.  As you may have noticed, I tend to go all out with Halloween. I was very proud of myself for even making all the center pieces with items from around my house. I took branches that had fallen down during the week and  painted them black.  I put them in tall vases filled 3/4 with pumpkins.  I then put spider webs on the branches and little spiders.  They were perfect! Guests raved!  See what a little creativity can do?  I also gave my guests as party favors, incredible mini hand made pinatas in the shape of skulls and pumpkins.  A local artist made them and I found them locally.  They were a huge hit!!!!”




So, moms and daughter, fathers and sons, green cheerleaders and recycle cans, we hope that Rochelle and Ally will inspire you to not only celebrate a Green Halloween but also to toss in a little humor with your green (or a little green with your humor).

Any way you slice it, if you make sustainability fun, it’s more likely to be sustainable.

How do YOU put the F-U-N in your green? Add your comments below.

Free chocolates for Reverse-Trick-or-Treating

Monday, October 5th, 2009


What’s even better than chocolate?

Free chocolate.

What’s even better than free chocolate?

Free, Fair Trade chocolate.

What’s even better than free, Fair Trade chocolate?

Free, Fair Trade chocolate for the good of others.

You’ve heard us chat up Reverse Trick-or-Treating in the past, but did you know that when you sign up to take part you get all the chocolates you need at no charge?

And we’re not talking ordinary Fair Trade chocolates (wait, is there such a thing?) we’re talking eco-yummy, ethically sourced chocolate from Coco-Zen, Alter Eco, and our own partner, Equal Exchange.

For more, go to (Please note the deadline.)

Add a comment below if you’re planning on taking part! We are!