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We’ve been waiting all year for October to roll around for one exciting reason: Fair Trade month! OK, you probably didn’t mark your calendar for that but it’s a cool idea to celebrate anyway. With chocolate candies flowing like wine this season, why not take a moment to learn a little about their creation? You’ve probably watched one of the mouth-watering videos that take you on a factory tour. There are Willy Wonka like rivers of melted chocolate, and endless conveyors of chocolate candies. But what happens before the ingredients get to the factory? Unfortunately, it’s a pretty messed up story that includes child slave labor and third world farmers who get paid pennies for their delicious cocoa. Talk about a Halloween horror story. Here’s a short video that gives some info on why standard …

As consumers, we have a lot to consider before making purchases; value, durability, style, environmental responsibility, and even the conditions under which the product was made. Some items are notorious for being manufactured using unfair labor practices, and unfortunately cocoa (the key ingredient in chocolate) is one of them. In 2001, the US was concerned with this subject when it was found that child slavery was involved in producing 43% of the world’s supply of cocoa! In response, Global Exchange says that, “…the US chocolate industry agreed (via the Harken-Engel Protocol) to voluntarily take steps to end child slavery on cocoa farms by July of 2005. Unfortunately, this deadline has now passed, and the chocolate industry has failed to comply with the terms of this agreement.” Nice. Is it just me, or does it seem a bit perverse …

Robots make a cheap and easy costume idea for kids and adults. They can range from a plain old cardboard box with holes cut for your head and arms, all the way up to a giant deluxe robot costume. They also make a very eco-friendly costume because materials can be completely salvaged from your recycle bin: CDs, oatmeal or laundry detergent containers, styrofoam packing pieces, bits of old wire, used aluminum foil… you get the idea!
Get inspired by the amazing homemade costumes featured here.