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Be My (Green) Valentine

By Louisa Thomas
Oprah.com

Though we celebrate romance on February 14, our well-meaning gifts of chocolate and flowers may have a toxic backstory. The International Labor Organization estimates that West Africa's cacao plantations employ nearly 300,000 children (many of them sold into forced labor). Some South American flower farms use harmful pesticides and herbicides; one report from Ecuador found that flower workers suffer higher-than-average rates of miscarriages, birth defects, and asthma. Plus, that adorable greeting card from your soul mate was likely made from virgin trees. What's an earth lover to do?

For chocolate:
Go to GlobalExchangeStore.org to find organic and fair-trade goodies from small, sustainable farms, such as the heart-healthy Dark Chocolate Minis Gift Box ($11) or the Sweetheart Chocolate Trio package ($12) from fair-trade company Art Bar.

For flowers:
Consider a native potted plant from your local nursery, or nudge your sweetheart toward OrganicBouquet.com, which offers VeriFlora-certified blossoms (grown using sustainable techniques). Our pick: the dazzling Cherry Love Roses ($50).

For cards:
The simple yet elegant V-Day cards at PancakeAndFranks.com are made from 100 percent recycled card stock and use only nontoxic inks. Or forget the card: Just flip out the lights and tell your honey how much you care, face-to-face.



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Sustainable Flowers Make The Perfect Gift For All Occasions

Organic Bouquet is the largest online provider of eco-friendly and organic floral gifts. All of our flowers are grown in a manner that is not only environmentally friendly but also provides outstanding resources for farm workers and artisans. Organic Bouquet partners with select flower farms in California, Ecuador and Colombia. All of our flower farms follow stringent growing practices which are monitored by multiple certification agencies and associations. When you purchase flowers from Organic Bouquet, you are helping to improve the life of a flower farm worker, their family and the local floral community.

Our eco-friendly flower arrangements include roses, calla lilies, tulips, gerbera daisies, hyacinths, sunflowers, alstromeria lilies and blue iris. In addition to a complete line of flower arrangements, we offer gift baskets, fruit baskets, nut baskets, gourmet chocolates, gourmet cookies, plants and  wreaths. All of these products are certified eco-friendly and/or provide for environmental benefits through our participation in Carbon Offset programs.

Whatever the occasion, our flowers make the perfect gift- birthday celebration flowers, anniversary flowers, holiday flowers, or floral arrangements simply to say thank you. Sending flowers from Organic Bouquet says that you care not only about the person receiving the flowers, but also about the environment. All of our gift items are shipped nationwide to all 50 states. So whether you need to send flowers to Florida, New York, California, or Colorado, we can guarantee overnight delivery to ensure they arrive fresh and ready to put a smile on someone’s face.

Whether you are purchasing online, or through one of our customer service specialists, you can be assured you are ordering the freshest quality of flowers and environmentally friendly gifts.