Converting back to a green life, one week (and nap time) at a time

Week # 15: The Green Chocolatier

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April 13, 2014


I’m dreaming of Cadbury cream eggs. I gave up chocolate for lent this year, and while I haven’t missed it much, I’m seem to be seeing cream eggs everywhere.

I’m not religious, but I do consider myself spiritual, and every year I try to give up something for lent as a personal challenge. I was born to a Baptist Mother and a Catholic Father, both of whom became disillusioned with their religion in adulthood and decided to let their children decide for themselves.  I’ve dabbled in Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and paganism, finally settling on a combination of beliefs, values and practices that work for me.

Having said this, I often find myself swept up in the secularized holidays of Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter etc. I can’t help but  love decorating for various holidays. I get giddy when one of these holidays is approaching and it’s finally time to excavate the bins holding tacky decorations from our attic and thoughtfully place them about the house. And having a child in the house only fuels this hobby more :-)

All of our decorations are reusable. But what I’ve been thinking about lately is all of the waste and useless consumerism generated for each holiday. I decided after my husband’s birthday a couple of months ago that  I would stop buying gifts for holidays and birthdays just for the sake of buying them. From now on, I’m only buying practical gifts that are actually needed such as clothing and food (socks do wear out after all, and one needs to eat), make home-made gifts or purchase locally made items, or make donations to charitable organizations.

While I’m looking forward to diving into a cream egg, when I think of all the candy I usually buy for myself and my family for this holiday, there is a lot of non-recyclable garbage generated.

So yesterday afternoon my daughter and I make a little adventure to the bulk foods store down the road and bought chocolate wafers and molds. And we successfully made our own tulip and seashell shaped chocolates, as well as some chocolate cookies. We picked up a few marshmallow and jelly bean treats as well. Buying in bulk avoids the waste generated by through individually wrapped items. And my daughter had a blast helping stir the melted chocolate and paint pink frosting on the hardened chocolates. We’re also preparing reusable sandwich bags full of these treats and decorated with reused ribbon to be hidden around the living room for Easter morning. What fun! I can’t wait :-)

The only thing that would have made this project greener would be to use fair-trade organic chocolate. Just like many other aspects of our modern, western world, chocolate has an impact on the planet, such as destruction of rainforests to grow the coca beans that chocolate is made from.

I’d love to find a local source of molding chocolate, and hopefully one day I will.

One step at a time.


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