If you're really committed to greening your Valentine's Day, you'll stay home on the couch, get sauced, and belt out angry/sappy love tunes in manner of Bridget Jones. Alas, not everyone can be a bitter singleton, and not even all bitter singletons enjoy a zero-emissions pity party. Here are some less hostile ways to green up the pink and red holiday:
Like a red, red rose
Planning to send Shnookums some blossoms? Help the flower industry cut down on pesticide use and enforce fair-wage policy for workers: Choose a fair-trade certified company that makes a point of growing organic. Diamond Organics, California Organic Flowers, Organic Style and Organic Bouquet are all great options, and even 1-800-flowers.com offers some fair trade bouquets.
Pamper your Love-muffin by cooking him/her a lavish meal from organic and/or locally grown grains and veggies with grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free chicken, sustainable fish or a vegetarian alternative. As your piece de resistance, whip up a special sundae for dessert. When, where, and how you choose to eat it is really none of our business, but we would like to suggest a few ingredients:
• Stonyfield Farm organic ice creams and frozen yogurts are "produced without the use of antibiotics, synthetic growth hormones, or toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers."
• Dagoba chocolate syrup is the only organic, Fair Trade Certified and corn-syrup free chocolate syrup on the market. And it's yummy.
• Natural by Nature's organic whipped cream is made from the milk of grass-fed cows that are hormone and antibiotic-free. Plus, the company's farmers don't use pesticides or herbicides on their farms. See their website to find stores that carry the products.
• Top things off with organic cherries. The advantage over Maraschino cherries here is twofold: First, you and Tootsie can enjoy a lively cherry pit-spitting contest — very sexy. Second, you'll avoid ingesting artificial flavors, red dye, sulfur dioxide brine solution (preservative) or corn syrup — also very sexy.
There's nothing more romantic than watching a sunset, taking a walk in the woods or a winter stroll on a deserted beach. Get outside and remind yourself, and Sweetie Pie, of how your love compares to the wonders of the natural world. Why do you think they do it like they do on the Discovery Channel?
E-cards are a great way to cut down on paper, but if you're set on going the old-fashioned route, steer clear of cards with metal embossing. They're deplorably tacky, but what's more unforgivable is that they can't be recycled. Also, go for envelopes that are white or cream colored — the dark reds and blues can really do a number on a recycling plant.
If you're going to buy sweets for your sweet, consider ethical chocolates. Endangered Species Chocolate has designed some delish-sounding Valentine's Day treats, all of which come in gift boxes. The cocoa used to make Endangered Species Chocolates is ethically traded and shade-grown.
Sing a song
Send Cupcake a singing messenger, via public transportation, bike or Prius. A few song suggestions:
1. I just called to say ‘I compost’
2. The way you look tonight in your non-toxic jeans
3. Unbreak my earth
4. You light up my LED
5. I want to grow old with you ... in a LEED-certified, off-the-grid cabin in Vermont with solar panels and composting toilets
6. Baby you can drive my hybrid
7. Love is like a heat wave, but so is global warming
Story by Tobin Hack. This article originally appeared in Plenty in February 2008. The story was added to MNN.com.