I’m Susi, a twenty-something year old German girl, that’s living in the UK . I’m a final year Events Management student that will dismiss any cocoa products (yepp that includes chocolate) for 365 days. I have set myself this challenge to raise awareness and money for the Fairtrade Foundation.
But ‘WHY?’ you might think?!
Well, the idea came one afternoon when I was writing on my dissertation about sustainability and badly craved chocolate (again). Unfortunately, my housemates and I gave up the delicious sweet for lent, which meant I had many more days to face without my addiction. Currently studying the impacts of my chosen career (Events Management) on the environment made me even more concious about being green and ensuring a sustainable lifestyle to reduce impacts for generations to come. I always considered myself as an environmentally friendly person, having learned to reduce, reuse, recycle wherever possible from an early age. My 14 months work experience at MCI Brussels has encouraged me to take a step further and actively ensure sustainability. I engaged in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)-projects, and participated (amongst other projects) in the ACCOR Christmas Tree Challenge. The task was to decorate a Christmas Tree with a limited number of recycled materials and colours. As you can imagine creativity was crucial to win this competition, especially as the given theme was ‘light’ and we still wanted to ensure that it is a Christmas-tree after all. Together as a team we did not only win the challenge, much greater a Solar Power System was installed at a School in Burkina Faso under our name.
So while sitting in front of my work (desperate for chocolate), I suddenly had to think about the conditions for Cocoa Farmers in Third World Countries. I remembered Fairtrade activities and articles I have come across in past years and started to search for more information online. The search brought me to the Fairtrade Foundation where I found an inspiring video of ‘Kuapa Kokoo Farmers‘ and I was hit with the idea of supporting them and other farmers around the world. I had the idea of extending my giving up chocolate not only for Lent but for a whole year. Yes, correctly 365 days!! Whether you are as addicted to chocolate as me or not, just imagine to give up your regular favourite (coffee, tea,…) for a whole year! Ridiculous right, why should you do that? Well, I could ask this myself too, but I aim to raise awareness and money for the Fairtrade Foundation with this challenge. The Fairtrade Foundations reports that it costs approximately £150 to bring fairtrade to a new farm. I aim to raise £1500 in 365 days through ‘JustGiving‘ to support 10 farmers. The question to whether give up chocolate for a year or not, when I can help to change 10 farmers and their family’s life is not even one to ask.
The slogan of the Fairtrade Foundation is ‘Take A Step’, I therefore named my challenge ‘365 steps without chocolate’ to go further for Fairtrade. This blog is my diary during the project. I will speak about my challenges to resist chocolate, any chocolate substitutes – if there are any, the experience I am making during the journey, Fairtrade and lots of other things that I will come across.
So help me with this challenge, because every like, every comment and every donation will make a difference!
Also, please spread the word and share this with everyone you know, because taking 365 steps together is much easier than alone!