Why is chocolate an environmental issue? Because palm oil, an ingredient used in some chocolates, is the main driver behind much of the deforestation happening in tropical peat forests of Indonesia and Malaysia, among other places.
Tropical peat forests are home to a diversity of plant and animal species, and are important carbon sinks, which means they have an important role in climate change issues. To learn more, here is one article to get you started: Palm Oil and Global Warming (Dec 2013, Union of Concerned Scientists)
By reading the label, you can avoid buying chocolate made with unsustainably produced palm oil, which can be a challenge. Another option is to search for information about a company’s corporate social responsibility, or palm oil charter.
Here is a list of some to get you started. Keep in mind things change, so please follow up as best you can.
And, Happy Valentines Day!