What does chocolate have to do with trees?
I love nature. I love trees. I’ve worked as a treeplanter in Canada before. Whilst I can’t do any planting myself at this moment, I can at least donate money to non-profits doing the work for me. As a matter of fact, it usually is the money they need most to make things happen, not the willing hands to do the work.
In my past I have often donated trees when I was able to. For example, through Iplantatree.org, as they are reforesting unused land in Germany.
There also was a WWF project some years ago, where one could “protect land” through donations, which then was reforested to create habitat for the native wildlife there.
This year I donated €170 worth of trees to serveral non-profits through betterplace.org and Iplantatree.org. Not because I had a lot of cash, that certainly wasn’t the case. But for more than 11 years – since my first paycheck came in – I have made it my habit to donate a tiny portion of my monthly wages to a good cause. (And honestly I never really noticed those €12 less on my account.) I often would add one more donation at the end of the year, for whatever cause reached me at that time.
Now it’s not my intention to brag here, I know I could have given much more over time! The fact is, it became a habit to give back. I travelled over 4 years in the course of the last 8 years. Without the beautiful nature and amazing creatures living in forests, all that travelling would have meant little to me. But when I consider the C02 emissions I caused… I cannot give enough to pay off my debts to the environment! Yet, I do want to try. With trees being the best way to reduce C02, it all lay at hand, to settle on trees as my favorite cause to support.
To make a long speech short
I’ll reward myself with “planting trees”. For every day that I eat no chocolate, I will at the end of the 60 days period donate 1€. And if I get weak inbetween? – I’ll make sure to buy fairtrade chocolate, with as much cocoa content as possible.
Originally, I was going to buy only “DieGuteSchokolade”, as they too are planting 1 tree for every 3 bars of chocolate that someone buys. But I changed my mind after seeing their sugar contend being higher than 50%. I still love the fact that they promote education of kids, use only fairtrade ingredients and plant trees, but I wish they would offer a chocolate with less sugar, even if dark chocolate is less popular with kids.
On days that I give in, I reward myself (and punish my purse) by giving twice as much. Either way it will be a win-win. And what’s really cool about it, I get to choose what kind of trees I plant. I could be helping poor farmers by planting fruit trees. Or plant cocoa trees for fairtrade farmers. (And try to compensate for all the unethical chocolate I ate before.) But I might as well support orang utan habitat reforestations or whatever else I find worthy. I think that’s pretty cool and goes hand in hand with ThinkEatActLive sustainably.
So if you are with me and trying to change a bad habit, I encourage you:
Pick a worthy cause (really whatever you care for: animal shelters, kids eductaion, cancer studies, etc – they all are equally worthy and need support) and put some of the money you save every day (by not eating chocolate, not having starbucks or lemonade, stop smoking or drinking alcohol, etc) aside for a good cause. If you are not good with money, make a donation every week.
It will not only make you feel good, but also help you to stay motivated!
UPDATE: April 18th, 2018
One month after officially finishing my challenge of 60 days without sugar and chocolate (well, almost) I donated 74€ to an Orang-Utan Project in Borneo. There were many good projects and it wasn’t easy to decide. But in the end I could plant the greatest amount of trees (seedlings) with this donation that will hopefully contribute to protect those those graceful, beautiful, but endangered animals at the same time.
(Out of the 74€ I donated, 66€ went into the project and 8€ went to the upkeep of betterplace.org.)
Learn how you too can make a difference!
- Betterplace.org is a great place to find all kinds of interesting projects! All the money I collect throughout my 60 days without sugar or chocolate challenge will go into one or two of their projects!
- Support Matabooks and save trees (and water) by using GrasPaper books
- Plant trees in Germany with I-plant-a-tree
- Go green! Put your website or blog on a server that is powered by sustainable energy resources! (Warning, this is an affiliate link, by clicking on it, you will be brought to the ‘Green Geeks webhosting’ website.)