I’ve always been ambivalent about how I feel about Valentine’s Day. Maybe it’s because I spent much of my life single. Maybe it’s because it’s such a commercialized holiday. Back in my more radical days I would go around saying things like “Valentine’s Day is a conspiracy with Hallmark at the helm!” (Yes, I was single at the time.) But, I have to admit that there are so many great green options for Valentine’s Day giving that it’s warmed me up to celebrating. No longer are we stuck with conventional flowers, wasteful glittery cards and chocolates with mystery middles!
Check out these fun ideas for reusing materials to make adorable cards on Crafting a Green World. I don’t know whether I like the comic book or music sheet cards better! A quick trip to a thrift store could conjure up a bunch more ideas, I’m sure. There are a lot of great graphics available free online that you can download; both images above came from a clipart gallery. I’m going to do this for other holidays and birthdays as well; making cards could be so fun, plus I’m already counting up the money I’ll save. I saw Valentine’s Day cards priced at $7! That’s outrageous.
I love chocolate as much as anyone, but not so much that I need chocolates in unnecessary packaging, with all kinds of weird additives and that involved unfair labor conditions in making it. Fortunately, there are some beautiul options for buying organic, fair trade chocolates in recyclable packaging. Some of the brands below can be found at local retail stores (hopefully locally-owned stores) so check out their websites to find out where you can buy their products. I’ve seen some of these brands at Whole Foods, a local non-profit fair trade shop called Green Heart and several other local specialty food shops. Trader Joe’s has a good selection of quality chocolate too. All of this chocolate research has got me craving it! Maybe I’ll get some chocolate for V-day. Husband, are you reading this?
—Coco-Zen — So cool-their truffles come in metal tiffin containers!
—Theo Chocolates — They have vegan too!
Who isn’t a sucker for a lovely bouquet of flowers? Unless you’re highly allergic or maybe if you’re a wedding planner, we all are. But, the flower business wreaks some environmental havoc. A lot of energy and resources are used to grow perfect flowers that will be around for maybe a week and then are thrown out.
Fortunately, more sustainable flowers are becoming easier to find. I’ve been hearing about and seeing a lot of ads for Organic Bouquet, which has been around for awhile but seems to me to be getting more attention these days. 1-800-Flowers has fair trade bouquets (as well as organic tea and snack gift baskets). When I went to the FTD website, I was skeptical, but I found a really nice, certified sustainable (although cheesily named “Protect Our Earth Bouquet”) bouquet. The super cool part is that it comes in a recycled wine bottle vase!
The superior option to cut flowers, though, is getting something living that can grow inside in a pot or be planted outside in the spring. That being said, I can’t help but appreciate a special bouquet presented to me by my groom once a year.
Ok, so what will I do? I’ll be baking up some chocolate-y goodness, making a card (nothing too ambitious though) and husband and I will be going to dinner (a regular dinner at a local spot–not an overpriced Valentine’s Day event) and a play put on by a local troupe. That’s more than we’ve done in years!