Q: I’m always stumped for good gift ideas for my honey, especially around this time of year — there’s Christmas, then Valentine’s Day, then our anniversary. This year, my New Year’s resolution was to make my lifestyle a little more eco-friendly, so I’ve been a bit more conscious with recycling old newspapers and water bottles. Since I’m still on a roll, do you have any good eco-friendly gift ideas for Valentine’s Day?
A: First off, kudos to you on taking those first few steps toward a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Not only are you making a difference in the future of our planet, you (and I) can sleep a little better at night knowing your paper and plastic are making it into the recycling bin instead of the garbage dump.
Now, on to Valentine’s Day gift-giving. Personally, I say blech. For me, Valentine’s Day calls to mind the time-honored tradition of feeling crappy because everyone has someone to love them but you. FYI — it’s always a good idea to break up with someone you’re not crazy about just before Valentine’s Day so you don’t have the awkward exchange (and then the possible re-exchange) of gifts. But, for all of you in happy, committed, fulfilling relationships, here are some eco-friendly twists on an old favorite.
The classic Valentine’s Day gift is … can you guess? That’s right! Flowers and chocolate! (I love it when I get the answer right.) And there are lots of ways to give the timeless gift while keeping your offering Earth-friendly. If you’re going to give flowers, make sure they’re organic — that is, not grown with harmful pesticides. You can find these flowers at places like Whole Foods, or if you want to buy online, try organicbouquet.com or even FTD, which features an eco-friendly line of flowers just for Valentine’s Day.
What about eco-friendly chocolate? Dagoba has long been the leader in organic chocolate, named in 2003 by CNN/Money as one of the world’s best chocolates (don’t ask me why CNN/Money has the authority to make this declaration; I’m not quite sure myself). Founded in 2001, Dagoba’s chocolate carries fair trade certification by Transfair, and their line of organic chocolates features absolutely divine “drinking chocolate.” What better way to spend Valentine’s Day with your honey than cuddled up on the couch sipping hot cocoa?
Other great organic chocolates for Valentine’s Day come from Equal Exchange, Sjaak’s, and Sweet Earth Chocolates. Of the three, my personal favorite is Sweet Earth’s Heart Full of Truffles , but that’s just me — I’m a sucker for anything heart-shaped … or anything chocolate. Find out more about eco-friendly chocolate here.
If you’re the lucky recipient of a bouquet of flowers on Valentine’s Day, you don’t have to chuck those stems when they go limp. You can either dry them and keep them as a memento (if you’ve gotten them from someone special) or compost them (if you’ve gotten them from someone not so special).
And as for leftover chocolate? Even if you got them from a not-so-loved one, I’m sure there won’t be any left over.
Related on MNN: 14 inexpensive Valentine's Day eco-gifts.
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