How we make stuff

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Can we do things differently

Crops such as cocoa beans, coffee or bananas cannot be grown everywhere on the planet. They come from plants that only grow in warm countries. Some farmers are finding new ways of growing food as part of the rainforest ecosystem and using waste as a resource.

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Working with nature

Using a patch of rainforest to farm cocoa trees.

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From coffee waste to food

How waste from coffee crops can be used to grow food.

Awesome Facts

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  • It takes up to 600 seeds to make just 1 kilogram of chocolate!
  • Most cocoa farmers earn less than the price of one single chocolate bar per day!
  • When the seeds are collected, the rest of the cocoa pod is often thrown away. Some farmers turn the open pods into compost to help trees grow.


Download fun and original activities to encourage 7 to 12 year old children to develop their understanding of a 'closed loop' economy and to stimulate discussion and debate.

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Based on the original book ‘How We Make Stuff’ by Christiane Dorion, Templar Publishing, 2012.
Website text by Christiane Dorion - Design by Harriet Pellereau.

© 2012 Ellen MacArthur Foundation - Illustration © Beverley Young - Text © Christiane Dorion