Change the World
Celebrating a Green Valentine's Day
by Corey and Lynn
Valentines' Day is right around the corner and you may be wondering how best to celebrate this holiday 'o love while keeping your mother (Earth) in mind.
Fear not, fellow greenies, loving your sweetheart and your planet can go hand-in-hand when you think outside the conventional V-Day box.
Here are a few pointers:
Cards - Traditional Valentine's Day cards are made from virgin trees. Now that's not spreading the love. Instead, choose cards made from 100% recycled or tree-free stock, or make your own from similar materials. Want to create something truly unique? See below for inspiration.
Gifts – Top gifts for Valentine's Day include chocolate, jewelry, flowers and lingerie. You don't have to go the conventional route just because you want to stick to tradition. Look for gifts that are made sustainably and ethically and remember that sometimes the greatest gifts are free and don't require wrapping.
Activities – Just about any game or activity can be tweaked for Valentine's Day. To green it up, use reused, reusable and recycled materials or find activities that don't require "stuff" at all. Or, put a little sexy fun into the idea of "reducing" by cooking dinner with your sweetheart sans clothes and, in lieu of a card, use body paints to illustrate your love for your partner. A body poem will definitely earn bonus points.
Our top picks:
We made this whimsical "card" out of an old pair of scratched reading glasses. (The glasses slide into the recycled paper "case.") We've also made cards out of mint tins, lids, boxes and more. What do you usually throw away that might be re-purposed? Your love will love your creativity and effort.
Why do we love chocolate? Let us count the ways... the luscious taste, the aphrodisiac affect, the health benefit. But the conventional chocolate industry has some dirty little secrets you can learn more about here. Look for organic, Fair Trade, and bird-friendly options available in all shapes, flavors and price ranges. (For a limited time when you purchase a copy of our book, Celebrate Green! you can add a box of Sjaak's organic, Fair Trade chocolate at no cost except for shipping!
Ah, roses. The quintessential symbol of blooming love. To keep your symbol green this year, look for organic or VeriFlora Certified and Fair Trade options. Choosing an eco-bouquet is a gift to the Earth and to the farmers who grow and prepare the flowers because conventional flowers, such as roses, may be doused with up to 1,000 times more chemicals than conventionally grown food. Look for florists selling locally grown flowers or contact Organic Bouquet.
If you're thinking of giving the gift of glam, consider artisan made jewelry that is hip and eco-friendly. We love Smart Glass (in photo) made from re-purposed glass and Green Karat's responsibly indulgent jewelry made from recycled metals and gems.
Pamper your partner and the planet with sustainable luxuries for the body. Vintage Body Spa makes organic and Fair Trade confections for the skin, so eco-yummy you'll want to eat it. We especially love their line of chocolate body polish (pictured) and shea butter lotion.
When giving the gift of wine, look for locally produced organic or biodynamic wine with sustainable real cork stoppers. We're fans of Cooper Hill and Badger Mountain. Where to buy? Check your local grocery or even big box store or better yet buy direct from a winery near you. (Here's an idea, how about taking your sweetheart on a V-Day tour.)
Celebrate your love this V-Day with a gift basket filled with ethically sourced, all natural, organic and chemical-free romantic goodies such as Good Clean Love's oils and body butters, Earth Erotic's phthalate-free "toys," a 100% beeswax candle from Big Dipper Wax Works, and a DIY booklet filled with coupons redeemable for a massage, a movie, a love letter, and a dinner for two.
No matter what gift you're giving, if you'd normally consider wrapping it, don't. Instead, make your gifts fashionably fun by dressing them up in fabrics such as the one pictured above by Bobo, or make your own from fabric remnants or silk or cotton scarves. Or do away with wrapping all together and hide your gift/ gifts (adults love a good treasure hunt, too!) or wrap your gift in what your love really wants – you.
Several studies have shown that philanthropy creates a chemical reaction in the brain similar to food, drugs and sex. So, if you want to create that warm-a-heart glow this V-day it could be as simple as making a charitable contribution or donating your time to a worthy cause (something you can do along side your love). Consider non-profits that are in line with your partner's values and passions. Go to Just Give for ideas on where to start.