Archive for October, 2010

“…bestselling author, political adviser and social and ethical prophet Jeremy Rifkin investigates the evolution of empathy and the profound ways that it has shaped our development and our society.”

This is an interesting way at seeing how we’re all connected…and how we may hopefully evolve into a true global civilization. Just some food for thought.



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“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh

“Because of Fair Trade, chocolate is more delicious.”


Coco-Zen Fair Trade chocolates



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The ladies over at Celebrate Green offer some wonderful ideas and suggestions for showing our kids that Halloween can be about “giving” and not just “getting”…and have fun doing it!


Trick or treat for good

With one notable exception, Halloween has traditionally been about getting, not giving. That exception began 60 years ago, when a mom in Philadelphia had the idea to turn the getting into something bigger. With nothing more than a desire to see change, Mary Emma Alison spread the word through schools, churches and community groups, encouraging kids to collect pennies that would go toward food, medicine and other needs of poor children around the world through UNICEF (the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund).

Her efforts were noticed by UNICEF, which eventually took over the campaign.

President John F. Kennedy recognized the willingness of children to move beyond self-interest:

“UNICEF has caught the imagination of our people-especially our nation’s children whose Halloween collections have become a symbol of concern and an expression of tangible aid.”

Children still can collect for UNICEF, but in addition, there are a number of other ways in which they can turn Halloween into a good-for-others event.

For instance, kids can collect eye glasses. Organized by OneSight and Lions Clubs, Sight Night is a non-traditional way to go door-to-door for good. Instead of trick-or-treating for candy, children and community groups collect used prescription glasses as well as sunglasses which are then recycled for usage by global clinics. Click here for more information and download materials for Sight Night.Do your kids have allergies? The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network’s Trick or Treat for Food Allergy is an alternative way for kids of all ages to have fun during Halloween. Instead of trick-or-treating for candy, which may contain ingredients that can cause allergic reactions, kids will trick-or-treat for donations to fund FAAN’s food allergy education and research programs. This way, they can dress up as their favorite characters while raising awareness to an important cause. Participating kids can even win cool prizes.

Older children may want to raise awareness of Fair Trade Certified chocolate and help end abusive child labor conditions in the cocoa industry. If so, they can try “reverse” trick-or-treating with Global Exchange. Instead of accepting candy (or in addition), they will hand out Fair Trade chocolate and/or informational cards on why supporting Fair Trade practices in the cocoa industry is a year around must.

And finally, with kids bringing home pounds of candy, most parents won’t allow them to eat it all. Instead of tossing the loot, check with the Halloween Buy Back program to see if your local dentists are listed. Participating dentists pay children $1 for each pound they bring in. Kids can keep the money or use it to help defray the cost of sending collected candy to troops overseas.

If dentists in your area are not participating, see whether your local food pantry or Meals-on-Wheels might accept the treats.

This Halloween, why not take the focus off collecting as much candy as possible and offer your child the opportunity to be generous. That idea is anything but scary!

Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and co-authors of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, available at www.CelebrateGreen.net.

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Last Wed night, Fair Trade USA (formerly Transfair USA) held a kickoff party for Fair Trade Month at TempleNightclub in San Francisco. Along with music and a great crowd there was Fair Trade vodka, food and chocolate (of course)! Coco-Zen was there and we were serving up our vegan truffles.

Check out some of the photos (via Fair Trade USA)…

Temple Nightclub
Joyce & her chocolates
Environmental lawyer by day, Coco-Zen spokesperson by night… Thanks Mary!
Paul Rice, CEO of Fair Trade USA hangs out with the Coco-Zen ladies.
Serving up truffles…everyone was surprised that these were vegan!
Partygoers enjoying the night.

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“Everything you can imagine is real.”

~Pablo Picasso

“We imagine Fair Trade chocolate.”


Coco-Zen Fair Trade chocolates

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Coco-Zen is proud to once again donate chocolates to this year’s Reverse Trick-Or-Treating campaign. This annual event is headed by Global Exhange, a membership-based international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic and environmental justice around the world.

See the announcement below, and find out how you and your kids can participate this year…and get your FREE Halloween chocolates!

October 8
Deadline for individuals and groups to request Reverse Trick-or-Treat kits!

ORGANIZATIONS (congregations, schools, youth groups, etc):

  • Kits for organizations are $24 per box of 150 minis and cards (maximum 2 boxes per organization).
  • When placing your order you must use the coupon code COCOZEN for the discounted wholesale price.
  • Last day for organizations to sign up for Reverse Trick-or-Treating is also October 8th.

INDIVIDUALS (families, students, etc):

  • Kits for individuals are FREE and include 15-20 Fair Trade chocolate minis and informational cards.
  • Last day to order kits is October 8th.

Order your kits TODAY at www.reversetrickortreating.org. We usually run out long before the deadline!

Reverse Trick or TreatWhat is Reverse Trick-or-Treating?
Children (+ high school/college students/adults) on their regular trick-or-treating rounds through their neighborhoods, or at an equivalent community event, give chocolate back to adults at each house they visit on Halloween…Fair Trade chocolate attached to an informational card about the problems in the cocoa industry, (such as child slavery, environmental degradation, and poverty) and how Fair Trade provides a solution.

With your help, we will reach nearly a quarter million households in the US and Canada with this important informational message!

To order trick-or-treating chocolate to distribute from your doorstep, including Global Exchange’s fabulous Halloween Fair Trade Action Kit, visit:

Whether or not you order a Reverse Trick-or-Treating kit, please join the Raise the Bar Campaign and circulate flyers on Halloween calling on Hershey’s to stop using cocoa grown with child or forced labor and start using Fair Trade certified cocoa. Flyers available at: http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/fairtrade/cocoa/reversetrickortreating/RTTpublicparticipate.html

October is Fair Trade month!
Learn how you can participate at http://www.fairtrademonth.org/

*Thanks to Reverse Trick-or-Treating 2010 Fair Trade chocolate company donors Equal Exchange, Sweet Earth, and Coco-Zen.

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