Going Bananas With EWB’s Fair Trade Reverse Trick-or-Treating
Halloween has always been a fun and festive time of the year where it is finally socially acceptable to put on a ridiculous outfit and demand free candy from your neighbours. And although many a student these days refrains from the routine knocking on doors and sugar seeking, All Hallows Eve can still merit a good time via costumes and the handing out of candy, rather than the gathering of it.
By taking on the task of giving instead of receiving, trick-or-treating receives a breath of new life and a positive spin for students, as Engineers Without Borders (EWB) puts on their costumes and struts the streets with a determination to promote fair trade goods in and around the McMaster neighborhood.
After multiple years of travelling around Hamilton, “Reverse Trick-or-Treating” returns on Wednesday Oct. 31, as EWB commits to their fair trade initiative by handing out Camino brand, fairly-traded chocolate and information packages to homes neighboring Mac’s campus.
“We try to change our route every year to cover more ground and spread the message farther into the community,” explains Dany Mejia, Fair Trade Director of the EWB McMaster Chapter. “We’ll hand out chocolates to students during the day on campus, but we mainly try to target family homes while reverse trick-or-treating.”
EWB is set-up with a variety of different teams catering to the different goals of the organization, including a specific branch for fair trade initiatives. For this particular activity, not only will the FT group be setting out into the community, but the entire Mac chapter will be sporting creative fair trade costumes and helping with the cause.
“A few of our team members will be dressed in banana costumes with giant fair trade logo stickers,” states Mejia. “The costumes help develop the theme of the evening and encourages discussion about what we’re promoting.”
This activity is just one of the many events EWB hopes to present this year in order to help achieve a Fair Trade Campus status for McMaster. Mejia, who is currently spearheading the initiative for a Fair Trade Campus, explains that last year brought about discussion with the Sustainability Office, the Dean, and Hospitality Services while looking into the promotion of this ideology. Mejia along with her team are currently looking into further developing these conversations and continuing the campaign to promote fair trade goods and services on campus.
Run through Fairtrade Canada, the Fair Trade Campus status was first achieved by the University of British Columbia in January of 2011. To achieve this status, a series of standards must be met that fall under the categories of Availability, Visibility and Committee.
In terms of Availability, EWB is working to have on-campus restaurants provide fair trade options. For instance, the MSU’s Union Market has already adopted the sale of fair trade tea, coffee and chocolate.
Working towards the goals of Visibility, EWB’s ventures, such as the reverse trick-or-treating along with their other events, like the fair trade candy grams that were handed out last year at Valentine’s Day, are used to promote information about the cause and make their efforts visible to the Mac community.
And for the Committee aspect, EWB, specifically their fair trade team, is working hard to keep up their game and continue to have a community representing their goals and aspirations for the cause.
As Engineers Without Borders continues to work towards the promotion of fair trade, look forward to hearing more about new product offerings and information on upcoming events and activities. And next Wednesday, remember to also keep your eyes peeled for do-gooder bananas handing out chocolates in a neighborhood near you.