It’s getting tough to do the right thing on Valentine’s Day.
How do you avoid buying blood diamonds or chocolate made from the work of child slaves? Even the carefree purchase of flowers for your loved one can, if you dig a bit deeper into where they came from, cause cupid to wince. To wit:
Bloomberg: Making sure that Valentine Diamond isn’t tainted with blood
Mercury News: Does your chocolate come from slave labor?
Atlantic: There’s a 1-in-16 chance your flowers came from child laborers
So far as I know, nobody has identified any abuses or social harm from buying a card for your loved one. But what should you do if you would like to get one of these typical gifts for a loved one?
Last year, I wrote this piece on How to avoid the dark side of buying chocolate, which was big news at the time due to the fact that the cocoa industry was alleged to have been funding one side in the civil war roiling Ivory Coast at the time.
Here are some other articles aimed at helping you make socially responsible VD purchases:
HuffPo The women behind your flowers
ONE Six suggested Valentine’s Day gifts
Good Valentine’s gifts that aren’t evil
I have no idea how accurate this is, but at least it’s disturbing and perhaps enlightening.
Many of us prefer to think slavery was abolished years ago. This organization, Slavery Footprint, would like you to recognize that not only does it still exist throughout the world, it is thriving.
Consumer products such as your cell phone, tablet computer, clothing or chocolate bar may depend on people trapped in low-wage (or no-wage) ‘jobs’ that are set up to exploit and enslave. As the site’s introduction says:
It’s the supply chain stupid. It’s a supply chain that enslaves more people than at any time in human history. And they’re working for you.
I took the test and discovered I had 52 slaves working to keep my in my lifestyle here in Seattle. The goal of this exercise is not to make us all feel crappy about ourselves (though I often do). The goal is educate us as consumers, to get us to make inquiries and stop buying products produced by slave labor.