Endangered Species – They Now Sell Chocolate!

So, I’m back in Harris Teeter, but I’ve switched from the cereal aisle to the chocolate aisle. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the link to my last blog about Honey Nut Cheerios helping saving our pollinators!)


While I’m walking down the chocolate aisle searching high and low for something sweet, something even better caught my attention. It was THIS chocolate bar.

As a matter of fact, there was an ENTIRE row dedicated to this brand of chocolate bars that caught my eye! It’s called Endangered Species Chocolate (ESC). They’ve been a company since 2014 and have a home office in Indianapolis, Indiana. You can learn more about the company at ChocolateBar.com. This website provides you with tabs labeled for their mission to help the world’s endangered species, their retailers, how to contact them, their blog and even a list of their products. I also found links where you can look at the company’s environmental impact and giveback from the previous year (2017), popular posts, twitter feed, and even recipes you can make using their tasty sweets. Here’s some of the main points I found from the website.

  • Mission/Giveback: 10% of the company’s net profits are donated annually to current 10% GiveBack Partners. Some of these partners include The Xerces Society, Chimp Haven, the African Wildlife Foundation, and the Wildlife Conservation Network. Each is guaranteed a minimum annual donation of $10,000 and is freely able to utilize the funds on projects they deem most important. With over $1.3 million generated in the past 3 years alone, each chocolate bar purchase is a big support in helping wildlife thrive.
  • Sourcing: ESC uses ingredients that meet strict standards for quality, ethical trade and environmental sustainability. They supports sustainable farming practices as well as honors the farmers that work with them by paying a social premium for ingredients to ensure they’re are supported and the species are protected. The company has certifications with Fair-trade International, being gluten free and kosher, RSPO, the Vegan Project, and the Non-GMO Project.
  • Products: There are 18 chocolate bars, 2 “bug bite” flavors, and 6 bark bite flavors. These flavors as well as their endangered species support and cocoa percentages* range from:
    • Dark chocolate – Chimpanzees
    • Dark Chocolate with 88% cocoa – Black Panthers
    • Dark Chocolate with Cranberries and Almonds – Grey Wolves
    • Dark Chocolate with Forest Mint – Rainforests
    • Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt and Almonds – Eurasian Eagle Owls
    • Dark Chocolate with Cherries – Puffins
    • Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut Toffee – Black Rhinos
    • Dark Chocolate with Blueberries – Sea Turtles
    • Dark Chocolate with Raspberries – Grizzly Bears
    • Dark Chocolate with Espresso Beans – Tigers
    • Milk Chocolate – Sea Otters
    • Dark Chocolate with Lemon Poppy Seed – Jaguars
    • Dark Chocolate with Blackberry Sage –
    • Dark Chocolate with Cinnamon, Cayenne and Cherries –
    • Dark Chocolate with Cacao Nibs – Bats
    • Dark Chocolate with Peppermint Crunch – Emporer Penguins
    • Dark Chocolate with Pumpkin Spice and Almonds – Arctic Fox
    • Dark Chocolate with Cranberries, Orange, and Cinnamon – Horned Rams
    • Dark Chocolate with Caramel and Sea Salt – Bald Eagles
    • Dark Chocolate with Almonds and Peanuts – Florida Jaguars
    • Dark Chocolate with Caramel and Spiced Apple – Polar Bears *all items without said cocoa percentages are 60%-72% cocoa
  • Impact: Here are links to the company’s 2017 Impact Report (http://www.chocolatebar.com/docs/doc_esc_ir_2017.pdf)  and Giveback Media Release (http://www.chocolatebar.com/media/3818_giveback.html)

The chocolate bars actually provide the consumer with a lot of cool information about different endangered species of animals as well as a delicious treat. I decided to not be too risky, so I went with the 48% milk chocolate flavor, which happens to have a sea otter on the cover.The inside of this wrapper included information about the sea otter such as it’s diet, threats, population, and regions of location, as well as information on how to help, their ethical ingredients and processes, more on some of the 10% Giveback Partners, and links/scannable QR codes to more information and media for the company. I’m eager to try some of the other flavors the company produces to see what their wrappers say about more endangered species. I highly recommend that everyone try out some of these sweet treats as well to find out more information as to how we, as humans and consumers, can help save those at stake for extinction.


Can Cereal Save the Bees?

As I was walking through the Harris Teeter cereal aisle one night, I turned and a particular box caught my eye. It was actually this box, and my immediate question was, “Where’s Buzz?”

Safe to say I ended up picking up (and eventually purchasing) this box of Honey Nut Cheerios. I was so excited for what I saw this brand doing in order to promote a change for things that are happening in and to our environment.

I know, it sounds crazy. Why in the world would you get so excited about  box of Honey Nut Cheerios? Well, not only did it catch my attention by NOT having their signature mascot Buzz Bee on it, but I also knew that I’d get a FREE packet of flower seeds “to help bring back the bees”! BRILLIANT! Since 2016, the brand has shown a cut-out silhouette of Buzz in order to more adequately inform consumers about the declining population of bees. General Mills, the company behind the #1 selling cereal in the U.S., joined forces with Burt’s Bees to bring awareness to this potentially catastrophic issue and are using the hashtag #BringBacktheBees on social media to further spread their message.

On the back of the box, there are tips and tricks as to how a potential consumer and petitioner for their cause can help bring back the bees! The box talks about the alarming rate that bee populations are declining, such as honeybees like Buzz. It also states a fact that 1 of 3 bites of food were made possible thanks to bees and other pollinators just from the work they do in our environments. Bees are the only insect that produce food eaten by man. Foods such as apples, almonds, coffee, and (obviously) honey all use pollinators to help grow, which is why some of the apples are missing from the apple tree.

So how can you help? Plant bee-friendly flowers like cosmos! Bees have great color vision, which is why flowers are so attractive to them especially blue, purple, yellow, and white colored buds. They also all need flower pollen and nectar in order to BEE happy, healthy, and helpful to the plants they get it from. Thankfully, the box already provides you with some, so you can go ahead and get started to #BringBacktheBees! By the end of 2020, farms that source oats for Honey Nut Cheerios will house about 3,300 total acres of dedicated pollinator habitats on almost 60,000 acres of land! Companies like General Mills and Burt’s Bees are making environmental impacts by calling on consumers to help join in their awareness movements. Do your part for what bees do for you! #BringBacktheBees

Extra Credit Senator Sandy Senn

Hello! If you read my last blog entry then you know that I recently went to an event hosted by Cultivate SC. While I was there I met a woman named Carolee Williams who works as a Lowcountry Field Director for the group Conservation Voters South Carolina. While at Cultivate, Carolee and I discussed the topic of the “ban on bans” bill currently in the South Carolina Senate. We both agreed that this bill was outrageous and, if passed, would mean only bad things for our local environment and South Carolina’s waterways. Carolee told me that the best way to oppose things like this was to contact your local representatives. To which I responded with the usual string of excuses about politicians only listening to money, and Republicans only voting Republican, seeing the rejection letters first hand, and being only one person. I told her my doubts and how I thought it wouldn’t make a difference. Well, it turns out that Carolee Williams had with her some local Charleston postcards with beautiful beaches and grand oak trees on them. She told me, “Just write a short message. Say you support local government and not the ban on bans. You don’t even have to address it! Just write your home address and ill address it to your representative.” It was so easy that I couldn’t say no and this was something that I felt strongly about…so I filled out 2 postcards, one with my address and Carolee’s recommendation for wordage and the second with my parents South Carolina address and a similar message. I dropped the postcards with Carolee and went about my arts and crafts.

About a week or two later, my husband and I get a letter in the mail from the SC Senate. Man, were we sweating! What could they want? What did we do? Turns out it was our State Senator Sandy Senn writing with a response to my postcard. Here we go, I was ready for rejection when I read the following message….



For those of you who cant read the letter, ill retype the key lines.

“Thank you so much for reaching out to me. I agree with you and will oppose this bill. I believe in local governments and their ability to regulate themselves and will advocate for that position.”

WHAT?! Let me retype that one more time for the people in the back. She said, “I Agree With You and Will Oppose This Bill.” I don’t think a letter has ever made me happier. Okay, well it was up there in the surprise and happiness category. My senator not only took the time to respond to a postcard but she agrees with me and will fight for this outcome! Yes! It was an amazing realization that there are good guys and girls out there fighting for you and your voice and the environment and our planet. They are going against the popular vote and saying no to lobbyists with big checks and agendas. They are doing their job so now we need to do ours. They need more from us. More support. More good jobs. More critiques. More communication. More opinions. They need us to step up and speak up. So next time you’re out, grab a postcard or sit down and write a short email. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Make it easy on them. If it weren’t for a stranger in a bar handing me a postcard and offering to do the heavy lifting I would never have known that I am represented by a woman who cares about the same things that I do and I would never have realized how much my opinion matters.

So write a letter to your representative and if you ever find yourself in a bar with Carolee Williams, take the time to talk to her because she might just push you to find your voice.

Grey Water – (blog #7)

Sustainability is a key method on which the future is going to rely on. The Earth only has a finite amount of resources, and with the rise in ocean levels, more fresh water sources could become scarcer. Because water is such a precious resource, society needs to find a way to conserve water conservation. The Israelis invented drip irrigation, allowing us to utilize a small amount of water in a big way, but there is a next step towards water conservation

Grey water is a new method of recycling, that is growing in popularity. Grey water is water from the bathrooms and washrooms of peoples’ homes. Grey water comes from the sink, the tub, or the washing machine, but never the toilet because of feces. Grey water is a revolutionary product because can be used to water our lawns.

Why is grey water so cool?

Using grey water to water lawns and feed plants mean people can save on their water bills, which can be very costly. Another important thing about grey water is that during drought seasons, the plants that depend on rain or sprinkler systems do not die. California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada are all very dry states, and with the installation of a greywater system, a shower can clean a person and feed a plant.

If you are going to have a grey water system though, it is important to use eco-friendly products because grey water could feed your fruits and vegetables, which feed you. No one wants to knowingly eat a fruit that may have been grown using water and tide pods. We have already discovered how bad it is to eat tide pods.

Guidelines for Grey Water

  • It is best not to store the grey water for very long because of the properties of the water breaking down.
  • Grey water should be put directly into the Earth, not into people.
  • A simple, gravity pulled drip irrigation system is cheap, effective, and more accurate than using a pump or filtration device because it is easier to control how much grey water each plant/system needs.

Eco-friendly and Biodegradable soaps and products

The grey water system is a great concept that is being put to use in many peoples’ homes, but to make greywater even safer for use, it is best to use biodegradable eco-friendly products. There is an eco-friendly laundry detergent called Zum Clean Aromatherapy Laundry Soap in Eucalyptus-Citrus, Emma Laundry Soap by Eco-Me, and more. Seventh Generation and Method are widely known eco-friendly products, and there are also products that people can use on themselves that are all natural.

People can make their own shampoos by using ingredients like egg whites, coconut oil, castile soap, and baking soda. Making eco-friendly soaps are easy and cheap, and they are not harmful to use in a grey water system. Castile soap, olive oil, oats, and essential oils are common natural ingredients to make soap! I made my own deodorant out of Baking soda, corn starch, coconut oil, and tea tree essential oil!


Works Cited




Cultivate South Carolina

Perhaps you saw the post on Oaks or maybe it escaped your notice.

It was short. Only a few sentences long, and contained an attached flyer for a local happy hour + science + art class called Cultivate SC.


So, if you missed it, or read it but thought maybe next time, I’m here to tell you that you are missing out!


I had never heard of Cultivate SC before I saw the flyer on our class page. Immediately the words happy hour, science, and art stood out. Those subjects are all a good time individually and if you put them together…well I definitely needed to see what this was all about. After my last class on Tuesday, I rushed over to Bowties Speakeasy on Maybank Hwy. The timing was perfect as my last class got out at 5:30pm and Cultivate SC began that night at 6:00 pm. I was alone, didn’t know a single person there, though I kept scanning the crowd for one of your familiar faces. I was nervous, so I did what all sober people at an art/science/happy hour do and I got a drink. I took that drink and bellied up to a bar front of a projector and a basket of trash. That’s right, a basket of trash. While everyone chatted and got to know each other I made friends with the trash. I selected a few pieces that I thought were really special and set them aside to look at until the presentation began. Before too long everyone else was sorting through their trash and a brilliant woman named Marielena Martinez began speaking to us about the Hopi Indians and their Kachina dolls.  The story goes that young Indian boys would carve the little figures from the roots of the cottonwood tree and use the figures to teach younger children about the sprits. The Hopi people believed that these figures each represented a spirit god and that each god had a responsibility (of the harvest, the hunt, the weather, the sun, etc.) They believed that the dolls could communicate the wishes of the people to the sprits whom they resembled. Each doll was then painted and decorated with small trinkets and found objects. After we learned about the Hopi’s Kachina dolls we were each armed with a small wooden base, scissors, hot glue and our baskets of trash to create our own Kachina dolls! This is when things got serious and I went to work drink in hand. I was determined to make an amazing doll that would bring me good grades and peaceful naps. While scavenging for the perfect piece of trash (all the trash had been collected from beaches and neighborhoods by the women hosting the event) I met a woman who introduced herself to me as Carolee Williams. She was super nice, and we got to talking about school and interests. Turns out, she is a low country field director for Conservation Voters of South Carolina. Hello Networking! Carolee and I each finished our Kachina dolls just as our speaker for the night took to the stage. Her name was Kea Payton and as it turns out, she was one of Dr. Beckingham’s Graduate students! Small world. Kea talked to us for about 15 minutes on micro plastics and their dangerous roll in our environment. She reemphasized some of what we had learned in class but she also told us some things that I had not heard before. Did you know that fish like to feed in brackish waters where the salty ocean water meats the fresh river water? They choose these spots because there is an abundance of microscopic food in this mixture of water. It is also here that much of our plastics and micro plastics travel resulting in fish ingestion. Did you also know that the Charleston harbor is the perfect place for this tragic combination of fish and plastic? Charleston’s harbor is protected and filled with brackish water meaning that the issue of microplastics could have a big effect right here at home. Thankfully we now know the impacts plastics can have in our waterways and after this class we know some ways we can work to better protect the environment.

In 2 hours I had made a new friend, learned about the Hopi Indians, learned about micro plastics and had a sculpture to keep that I made from recycled materials.

It was a good night!

If you thought this story was interesting or if you have decided to check out Cultivate SC for yourself you can learn more by clicking on the link below. The next and final class will take place on May 8th at 6pm. Hope to see you there!


PS here is a picture of the Kachina doll I made!



extra credi

My opinion on Genetically Modified Organism


A genetically modified organism, according to dictionary.com, “is a an organism whose genome has been altered by the techniques of genetic engineering so that its DNA contains one or more genes not normally found there. Note: A high percentage of food crops, such as corn and soybeans.” This includes many different thing, and is a very popular topic of arguments between scientist, big corporations, and the consumers.

If you look back approximately 50,000 years ago when humans began shifting over to agriculture you can see where this all started just at a more basic way. Over the past 50,000 years people have been selecting the plants with the biggest fruits or the ones that look the best. This selection has lead to all of the major cash crops around the world. If you just for example look at the modern day corn plant or maize it look nothing like the wild ancestor it use to be. The teosinte is a small about 2 feet tall plant that produces seeds that resemble modern corn, but from selection over the past 50,000 years we get the approximately 5 foot tall corn plant that produces huge seeds. I use this example to just explain that we have been genetically modifying organisms since we became modern day humans. Today we just expedite that process. Scientist select genes that code for large fruits and instead of waiting multiple generation for the change to happen they can infuse these genes for the first generation expresses it. This cuts back the hard work of selecting and breeding plants, which takes a very long time. We also selected for the animals we have today in farms and in our homes.

There is a negative side to this though. The Genetically Modified Organism business is very serious, with people patent the genes that they use, which I completely agree with due to it being a 47.5 billion dollar market (World of Corn 2018). The problem lies when companies start infusing our food with preservatives that haven’t fully been proven not to have any negative side effect. This has the government to blame due to us not using the Precautionary Principle. Sometimes these preservative have negative side effects and the people who consumed them have no way of knowing what they have just eaten. I believe we should test thing immensely before allowing its use but the big companies lobby against it for obvious reasons.

I believe the only change we need is to label Genetically Modified Organism and to educate the people the possible side effects. I also believe we should follow most of Europe’s Precautionary principle in order to keep our citizens safe, but besides that I believe it is very useful to Genetically Modify Organisms to skip the hard manual labor and time to create the same organism through natural selection.



Works Cited


“World of Corn.” World of Corn 2018, www.worldofcorn.com/#us-corn-at-a-glance.

Extra credit

The coyote “problem”


Due to the rising population of humans all across the world, species are starting to get pushed out. When species attempt to live within the human society they are always targeted. They usually are targeted in ways that are truly unsustainable and unethical. One species that has seen this since the beginning of human expansion is the coyote. The coyote has recently gotten a lot of attention in the United States, this has lead to many extreme actions to take place. When you think about what a coyote can actually do that causes all this negative publicity nothing really comes to your head, but in 1990 183 pet were killed in the United States, and those were just the documented ones (Connolly 1995). But those numbers are nothing compared to the money that they cost farmers. In 1990 9.9 million dollars of damages were done to just livestock alone in the US. 52,000 lamb were killed by coyotes in that year as well (Connolly 1995). But what are people doing to stop this? They trap and poison them or in places like South Carolina they create a bounty program.

The bounty program is the main point that I want to focus on. In South Carolina they tagged 16 coyotes and if you kill one you get $1000 dollars and a hunting license. Sounds like a good idea right…. No. This has been proven not to work in may places throughout The United States. The best example is Michigan. Michigan once had a bounty, which lead to the population to increase. This really doesn’t make sense to common people but when you look at it biologically of curse the population increased. With lower competition the more successful the breeding pairs were. So why is South Carolina trying the same thing? I have no clue. I believe the whole this is just a major waste of money. Michigan had to reintroduce the grey wolf to lower the coyote population. So why don’t we introduce our once native Red Wolf, because they are now on the brink of extension.

It is very interesting to see that the South Carolina DNR don’t truly understand ecosystems or even systems in general. The one thing you have to know about systems are that they are all interconnected. This just shows because due to people forcing out the panthers, and the red wolves we suffer from the problem that we do today. Instead of adapting to the problem we need to mitigate it. We need to go back to where the problem started and that is when the human population rapidly increased.


Works Cited

Connolly, Guy E. “THE EFFECTS OF CONTROL ON COYOTE POPULATIONS:      ANOTHER LOOK.” Digional Commonsdigitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewconte       ntcgi?referer=  &httpsredir=1 &article=1035&context=coyotesw.


Community Change– CofC Going Green (EXTRA CREDIT)

A common thread I have re read on here is personal change. I decided I wanted to freestyle write about community change, specifically changes that can be made on the College of Charleston campus. Granted some of these thoughts and ideas may be incredibly costly but I wanted lay them out in a place to discuss. Maybe some of you have had the same ideas? Let me know I’m curious.

  • As its finals week and we’ve all struggled to find tables with outlets I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to have solar panel tables. Especially outside Starbucks where the weather has been so beautiful recently.
  • Why doesn’t the College of Charleston Campus have a community garden? Surely there are students struggling to pay for food. Beyond this its provides aesthetic experiences and opportunities to learn about what it takes to grow food. Come on Sustainability Office! I’m sure there is some space around the Sottile House to have a garden
  • CofC should build Greenhouses on campus that supply food and other plants that could be useful for studying in the natural science classes
  • As part of campus combatting heat that is produced from urban environments the Campus should go white. Paint roof tops or any surfaces that can help cool (God knows Charleston could be cooler especially during the summer)
  • College of Charleston should help organize Ride shares coming from Mt. Pleasant and James Island that way to reduce commuters footprint and also combat the issue of limited parking downtown
  • I loved the sustain fest on George St! Even though we have the farmers market in Marion Square having the Low Country Grocery Bus visit campus 1-2 times a week would be great for students to access local produce that they may not have time to get during a busy week at school
  • Because we are such a large presence in the downtown area we should switch our energy to Solar. I feel as if this was to happen we would have such a big impact on the city and hopefully inspire others to make the switch

These are just some thoughts I’ve had of changes we could make to our campus other than clear ideas about recycling and composting beyond what is normally mentioned. Let me know what you all thinkJ

Media 2 (Extra Credit)

The advertisement I watched was for Coca Cola. Coca Cola is known for its cans that are many times seen as litter on the side of the road.  This is what this advertisement is about. Coke is trying to create sustainable efforts to limit these littering problems. The advertisement starts off with the vice-president of environment and sustainability for coke speaking on the efforts that are being put in place to encourage recycling. He talks about how packaging is very important and it can actually lead to the package becoming waste or not. He states that when people see the package, which could be coke or not, people relate the litter issue to the company. This causes a bad image for the company. He says that their company sees that packaging can be a positive thing. They feel this way because they are using the packages to promote recycling. You have probably seen the green leaf on water and other coke products. This is in hopes of promoting sustainable tactics to get rid of litter, which in return will create a better name for coke. Coke has partnered with the company Keep America Beautiful. Their role is to place bens in public places for recycling use. There is two main funding companies that help get these bens on peoples properties. They are also using bio-plastic bottles which are better for the environment. Their hopes is to create sustainable packaging. There is not that much text and subtext within this ad, it is more informative speech. The creator of this ad is coke industry, mainly the people who work with coke environment and sustainability. “Packaging plays an essential role for our business by meeting consumer needs for convenience and portability, as well as protecting and preserving our products throughout the supply chain. Coca-Cola has a goal to prevent waste over the life of our packaging, which means we are working to support initiatives that enable our used packaging to be recovered and reused.” Their goal is to inform people of their efforts and the change that is being brought forth. The values of this article to create a positive effects and efforts shown by a very powerful company. The brings forth a lifestyle of keeping our land beautiful with whatever techniques we can use. I do not see any points of views omitted. I see the point of view of getting everyone involved in sustainable acts, from the company to the consumer. It’s both parties responsibility to be sustainable. I think everyone will take this ad positively because its helping our world out. I do not see anyone taking this ad negatively. I really like the idea behind this ad and what the message is. I feel it is important that not only should the consumers be responsible for litter and waste, but the company putting in efforts as well. This is a very good image for the coke company. I think these efforts will really make a change we can see.


Alexis Waters-Peterson



Media (Extra Credit)

The video clip I found is advertising on the topic of ecological and sustainable living, and why we should make this change now. The text of this clip is informative messages the let the viewer understand why we should start living sustainable and some ecology studies on this life style we must put in place. The clip starts off with two kids with their face painted like the earth with the text “Why Now” on the picture. Then a chart of the average person’s day is displayed with activities and the percentage of time these activities take up. There is activities listed from sleep to television use. This is really eye opening to see the amount of time useless activities take up. There is then a quote that I found very interesting from Albert Einstein. The quote basically says we cant think the same way we have been thinking to solve our problems because that same thinking has caused these problems. The video then goes on to discuss new systems that will bring forth change. It shows the broken world turning into something great with healthy trees. Different pictures of people helping in the community and doing resourceful things then are displayed. This is giving examples of what we can do for this change. The last thing that the video shows is the question “Why Now” again, and then it says “Because We Can.” The creators of this advertisement is One Community. One Community is an organization that promotes sustainable lifestyles. As explained in their bio, they are dedicated to help the community live the healthiest best life. “One Community is creating open source and free-shared resources and solutions for Highest Good food, energy, housing, education, for-profit and non-profit economics design, social architecture, fulfilled living, stewardship practices and more. The resources we are creating can be implemented as individual components or complete teacher/demonstration hubs, intentionally purposed to spin-off additional teacher/demonstration hubs as awareness and knowledge grow.” Just as explained in their bio, the goal behind this advertisement is to promote sustainable living by informing on aspects of our daily lives. The values of this organization and the advertisement hold a high standard of living, that not only is a visual but also an urge for a movement towards a certain lifestyle. The point of view in this article is change. The point of view is from seeing issues and how to go about changing these issues. I do not feel their is a point of view omitted from this advertisement. I feel some people may take this positively and negatively. The people who take it positively will see how change is needed and and can impact of lives for the greater good. The people I feel will take it negatively are those who don’t see a reason to change and believe how we are living now will not negatively impact our future. What I take away from this advertisement is the change we can make is positive and the message is also positive in my opinion.

Alexis Waters-Peterson