Deforestation Driving Species Toward Extinction
Anyone with a sweet tooth and conscience should love the idea behind EnvirOmints — eat chocolate and save animals from extinction.
Since May 1990, the EnvirOmintal Candy Co. has been producing chocolate mint squares and giving away 50 percent of its profits to qualified nonprofit organizations working to save endangered animals and their habitat.
“We wanted to get away from just sending out an envelope asking for money, like most nonprofits do,” said co-founder Patrick Clarke-Delehanty. “This way people get candy instead. And it’s not just another candy — the product has a tremendous educational value.”
Included with each peppermint-flavored chocolate square is a animal species card. Each card features a photo of an endangered animal, along with the date the animal was placed on the Endangered Species List and the historic range it used to occupy.
“There are so many endangered species now, we could come out with a new set of 48 species cards every six months and not duplicate any for the next eight years,” Clarke-Delehanty said.
Additionally, customers can write the company for a free Wildlife Action Guide. The guide tells people how they can take action by writing their political representatives or regional fish and wildlife offices. It also lists several organizations currently working to save the environment.
“We’re providing people with educational materials to help keep them informed,” Clarke-Delehanty said. “We hope it gets them thinking about wildlife, and endangered wildlife in particular.”
The company also has made the candy’s foil wrapper easier to recycle. By offering to sell one of its endangered species T-shirts for only $9.00 if accompanied by 20 candy wrappers, the company is receiving more than a hundred wrappers a day from interested customers. The foil wrappers are then bundled and shipped to Chicago for recycling.
The mints can currently be found in about 15,000 stores around the country. They retail for 25 cents a piece.
“Most people say they want to do something about the environment, but they don’t have a vehicle for doing it easily and at a price they can afford,” said Clarke-Delehanty. “This product gives consumers a very inexpensive and fun way way to help endangered wildlife.”