Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. I didn’t always enjoy this “Hallmark holiday”, even once I actually had a Valentine. But my attitude about the holiday changed about ten years ago when hubby and I decided to ditch the traditional Valentines’ day route and started our own tradition. Every year since, we avoid the hassle and expense of going out (reservations, overpriced wine, finding a sitter) and instead stay home. He cooks while I get the kiddos in bed early. Then, we pop open a great bottle of champagne (the kind that would be unaffordable at a restaurant but is reasonable at the store) and enjoy a gourmet home cooked meal with candles and the good china. No gifts either – our dinner, champagne, and time alone is our gift.
But if you are in the market for something for your sweetie, here are a few suggestions to make your gift a little greener:
Organic Flowers –when you touch or inhale the scent of non-organic flowers, it is likely that you are exposing yourself and your family to harmful chemicals. Pesticides and other toxic chemicals used on flowers also affect the health of farm workers and florists. Keep everyone pesticide-free by purchasing organic and in-season flowers. Some sources include California Organic Flowers, Organic Bouquet and Local Harvest.
Fair Trade Chocolate – Traditional cocoa farming forces hundreds of thousands of children in West Africa to work under forced labor conditions on cocoa farms. Young boys are sold into slave labor and forced to work in cocoa farms, under inhumane conditions and extreme abuse. Kind of make’s that Hershey’s bar not taste so good doesn’t it? But when you buy Fair Trade chocolate, you ensure that farmers and workers receive a fair price for their product, helping them support their families and send their children to school rather than the field. Most Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate is also certified organic and shade-grown, which helps maintain the biodiversity of ecosystems, provides shelter for migratory birds, and uses far less energy than conventional farming. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive, but do we really need that much chocolate anyway? For eco-friendly chocolate, try one of these sites: Global Exchange, Equal Exchange, Dagoba Chocolate, Coco-Zen (fair trade, organic and local – a triple winner!).
Eco-friendly Jewelry – Go for jewelry that is fair trade, responsibly manufactured, and made from sustainable materials. The good news is it’s also generally super affordable too. You can find jewelry made from recycled glass, like this line we sell at buygreen.com; handmade, eco-friendly bling at etsy.com; or, if you have a bigger budget, there is brilliantearth.com for ethical, conflict-free diamonds.
More Sustainable Love – After the champagne, flowers, chocolate and jewelry, there’s the umm…love…the best part of Valentine’s Day. And yes, there is in fact, even an organic line of personal lubricants – think of it as the “green” KY. The majority of personal lubricants on the market are made with petrochemicals and preserved with methyl and propyl parabens. But Good Clean Love personal lubricants are natural and organic so they not only feel good, but are good for you. I especially like this Cupid’s Travel Kit – would be a perfect Valentine’s gift.
So spoil your sweetie this Valentine’s Day with eco-friendly gifts that are not only good for them, but also the planet. Happy Valentine’s Day!
(Note: It's important to me to point out that none of the companies or products on this list paid me anything or gave me anything for free. Even my own company, BuyGreen.com – I don't get paid by them either (hee, hee), but maybe someday. These are just companies and products that I run across in my work and I enjoying sharing to help others find better, green alternatives to traditional products.)