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Chocolate is Big Business on Valentine’s Day

Between the  gifts for sweethearts and the cards for colleagues, Americans spent nearly $19 billion on Valentine’s Day last year, according to the National Retail Federation. Part of that spending, a whopping $1.7 billion, was spent on just candy and chocolate. It’s likely that 2016 could yield similar figures. But how much of this money makes it’s way back to cocoa farmers? Annually, the global chocolate industry commands more than $83 billion.  Since most chocolate on store shelves in the United States comes from West Africa, Green America has been persistently pressuring US cocoa companies to step up and take care of the workers—and child laborers—in their supply chains. This infographic traces the conventional cocoa supply chain in an effort to show where the majority of the money consumers spends on a chocolate bar ends up. Purchasing fair trade chocolate from companies that have more direct relationships with farmers is important, as is ongoing pressure on manufacturers, processors, and traders, to improve the situation for farmers and their families. Check out our Chocolate Scorecard to find organic and fair trade options for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day. Click here to download the 1-page version of our Infographic. Share this:

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Why 2016 Is the Year of Solar

Guest post from EnergySage, a partner for clean energy 2016 is poised to be the best year yet for solar. At some time during the next few months, the U.S. will reach a milestone of one million solar homes, and industry experts predict that this solar momentum will continue throughout the year. If you’ve been thinking about installing a solar energy system, 2016 is the year to go for it. Read on to find out why we’re now beginning the Year of Solar. Solar is more accessible than ever in 2016  The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research are predicting that the costs of going solar will continue to drop in 2016, while electricity prices are going to continue to increase. Lower costs mean that it will take even less time for consumers to achieve payback on their solar investment, and in 2015, the average national payback period for solar shoppers in the EnergySage Solar Marketplace was just 7.5 years! Solar panels generate electricity for 25 to 35 years, and a shorter payback period means you benefit from more free electricity over the lifetime of your solar energy system. Experts agree that low-cost solar financing options are necessary to support homeowners installing solar. In 2016, it’s becoming easier than ever to access solar financing, thanks to new state-level initiatives like Massachusetts’ Mass Solar Loan program. Programs like Mass Solar Loan offer low-interest fixed-term solar loans to homeowners, and sometimes offer additional support to solar shoppers who meet particular income requirements.   Government […]

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