Each year, households in Ireland can be filled with the excitement of delicious treats and sweets as they celebrate Easter. However, the large amounts of waste and the unethical choices we make during Easter has the potential to contribute to the global issues we face.

The issues of unfair trade and environmental sustainability are often highlighted by participants of the Global Citizen Award who have taken #ActionAtHome on these issues. For example, GCA Alumni and EIL Staff Member Aileen Linehan took action and raised awareness about sustainable chocolate production after her volunteering experience in Ghana. By facilitating workshops with her local youth group in Cork, Ireland, Aileen brought her learning from Ghana home to raise awareness about responsible consumption among her community. Current GCA participant Mark Richmond has also recently completed workshops in Dublin around sustainable chocolate and ethical consumption after his experience in Ecuador.

We ❤ chocolate but feel it’s important to be aware of the choices we make – So this Easter, we wanted to share some tips that will help you ethically source your chocolate and in doing so you will be a champion of Global Goal 12: Ethical Consumption and Production;

  1. Try to source chocolate that is free from palm oil. The unsustainable mass production of palm oil contributes to the destruction of rainforests and our biodiversity. 80% of orangutans’ habitat has been destroyed in the last 20 years, and there is a serious concern that we are pushing orangutans towards extinction (Source: World Wildlife Fund).
  2. Be aware of where your cocoa has been sourced, and buy Fair Trade. Cocoa can often be sourced through very unfair trade agreements and difficult, unsafe working conditions (Source: Fair Trade Ireland). 
  3. Try to source chocolate and Easter Eggs that have little or no packaging. For example plastic packaging on Easter Eggs leads to 3,000 tonnes of additional plastic ending up in our landfills every year (Source: Friends of the Earth Ireland). 
  4. Limit the chocolate you purchase from large international companies and buy local. This will reduce the carbon footprint of your chocolate and you will be supporting a small local business!
  5. Enjoy your ethically sourced chocolate and learn more about sustainable chocolate production here.

Happy Easter from the Global Citizen Award!