As a Learning Community, ChocoSol hosts students from various fields of study for placements and co-ops. Below you’ll find a blog post from one of our current students!
Hello, my name is Antonia, and I am a student at George Brown studying Community Work. I chose ChocoSol as my placement because ChocoSol’s ethical, environmental, and ultimately sustainable business approach. ChocoSol for a placement appealed to me because of how they were handling multiple aspects of social justice. Learning about how a social business model works and their unique approach to engaging with the community was one of the reasons why I wanted to have my placement there.
When people eat chocolate, they often only care about the sweet treat within. They generally give no thought to what happens to the packaging after it is thrown into the garbage. Recently, there has been a shifting trend towards having more ecologically friendly products and packaging because of the growing awareness of how current packaging is non-renewable and takes years to degrade naturally (and some not at all), leaving us with increasing mountains of garbage. When a package or product is labeled ‘biodegradable’, it generally means that it can be decomposed by living organisms (usually bacteria) within a reasonable amount of time. While packaging or products that are labeled as biodegradable often attract consumers, this may not always be the case as some companies abuse the labeling system.
ChocoSol uses the services of a company called GreenShift that is dedicated to helping businesses be more eco-friendly through environmental and waste management assessments and measures, and creating compostable or biodegradable products (e.g., disposable cutlery, plates, napkins, packaging, and bags). GreenShift originally began as an assessment based company before moving into actually being able to provide businesses with products that are cost effective and eco-friendly (with GreenShift being able to investigate and source the products before they are sold). The founder of GreenShift has an extensive history working with environmental preservation and eco-certifications. GreenShift has a variety of certifications from third party organizations for different products that they own. For example, their paper bags are certified for having no chlorine, and soaps and cleaners are certified for non-animal testing. For the products that align more with ChocoSol, many of these products are certified for recognition that they are environmentally preferable. Products sold by GreenShift have been carefully considered with regards to the environmental impact that they have.
ChocoSol places heavy importance on the balance between the soil that cacao was grown on, to the physical chocolates that people enjoy, and the spiritual importance of cacao to Indigenous people of Mesoamerica. ChocoSol’s packaging is designed with the final image sent for GreenShift to create the final product. Most packaging is compostable/biodegradable and reusable for buying ChocoSol chocolates in bulk.
For more information on GreenShift, visit them online at greenshift.ca