Day 45: Wet, Hot, Sticky, Sweet

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February 14, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

I do not hate Valentine’s Day.  As a single person, this fact seems to puts me in a weird minority.  It seems like there’s a deep resentment for this holiday, attributed to how materialistic and superficial its recently-fabricated traditions are, but if you’re in that crowd, how do you feel about Christmas?  Cynics and hypocrites aside, no, I do not hate Valentine’s Day.  The reason for that is principally because I try to take every opportunity to celebrate something.  I just plain old like holidays.  Having a special day set aside to appreciate one thing or another is a more realistic endeavor than trying to be perpetually grateful.  Yes, if you’re in love, you should be in love every day and every day should be special, blah, blah, blah, blah, but special occasions are a bonus and a dandy opportunity to go above and beyond the norm for something or someone you really think deserves special treatment.  There’s nothing extraordinary about February 14 or December 25 or June 17 aside from the fact that it’s a commonly-accepted and thus a memorable day set aside for doing something special.  If you’re not a fan of Tuesdays, celebrate on a Thursday – as I see it, just get the job done, else risk appearing a thankless schmuck.  I digress.

Valentine’s Day is here and now, and whether you’re single or not, I encourage you to be happy about it.  That doesn’t mean going out and buying flowers or candy – I’m not a fan of any obligated materialism, no matter the circumstance (yeah, that means you too, Christmas).  If you’re in love and want to show it, I say go forth and do something special – break the norm and express yourself in a way that would make the Valentine’s haters question their belligerence.  Today’s project might help you accomplish the gift-giving while simultaneously sending support rainforest preservation, sustainable farming and natural sweetness.

Linus Ita wants to make your life sweeter.  In doing so, he also wants to help preserve the natural landscape and biodiversity of the African rainforest while supporting sustainable beekeeping and teaching others to do the same.  That sounds like a pretty sweet gameplan.

It turns out the lush diversity of plants in the rainforest results in some incredible honey. You can imagine: bees foraging in some of the densest, most diverse forests in the world – filled with organic pineapple, banana, papaya, cocoa, and plants not even yet discovered –  can create honey unique in both its taste and nutritional value. This honey is twice as amazing because it keeps poachers and loggers out of the rainforest, improves its biodiversity, and encourages natural watershed management… all while helping local people to make a good living by providing you with this delicious honey.

Linus has been at it for the past five years, as a beekeeper, a merchant and a teacher, helping his community both develop around and protect and preserve the natural resources surrounding them.

Honey is the sweetest way I can think of to conserve rainforest lands, and I think it’d make a far better gift than any box of Russel Stover (and definitely a much more plant-friendly approach than plucking a beautiful living organism from the ground and then watching it die slowly on your counter-top).  Support Linus by buying some rainforest-made honey before February 29.


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