Special Occasions

Published on February 9th, 2009 | by Stephanie Evans


Traditional Valentine’s Day Gifts

Chocolates, flowers, and cards are perennial Valentine’s day favorites.

Give traditional gifts a sustainable twist and truly treat your loved ones (and the planet) to gifts of green…

Organic, Fair Trade, Artisan… Chocolate?

Organic chocolate is increasingly available in health food stores and some mass-market groceries as well. Dark chocolate shot through with searing chili pepper and cinnamon will be memorable, if you’re feeling daring. Lavender-laced milk chocolate gently dusted with sea salt offers lighter fare.

  • Check for organic certification or indicators of organic processing at local chocolatiers.
  • Pop into your local grocery or health food store for organic chocolates. Online, find:
    • Organic brands like Booja Booja, Go Raw (organic vegan raw truffles), or XOX, all available at VeganEssentials Online Store.
    • Fair trade chocolates by brands like Divine or Theo (Keep in mind that some of these treats will travel great distances to reach your door…)
  • Browse Organic Style’s selection of organic, artisanal, and some fair trade chocolates. For those adventurers in search of a unique luxury, Eros Organic Chocolate Truffles are enriched with hydroponically grown black truffles.

Also check out Green Guru Debra Lynn Dadd’s top picks for organic chocolatiers and mouthwatering chocolates on Debra’s List.

To play a more active role in your cocoa gifting, add your own dessert item to the menu… Search up recipes for homemade bonbons and give them a natural twist with delectable organic ingredients.

Try these easy-to-make vegetarian and gluten-free recipes from Whole Food Market:

Experiment with unique fillings and topper flavors like fresh lavender, rosemary, citrus, or cinnamon—the right ratios create a perfect compliment to any chocolate. Find a palette of exotic flavor inspiration at Vosges.

Reinventing the Red Rose

A dozen long-stemmed roses may be traditional, but are they sustainable? That all depends on where they come from and how they’re grown. To ensure that your gift of greenery shows love to the planet and your friend or sweetheart:

  • Search online and call around to see if small-scale local florists offer organic, pesticide-free fresh cuts. Consult LocalHarvest for a listing CSAs or local farms that offer organic flowers.
  • Give a gift of life with an indoor herb garden, a live plant, or even flower bulbs or sapling seeds. A gift of green symbolizes growth, nurturing, and care, allowing the gift-giver to send a subtle message if something long-term is desired.
  • If a bouquet of flowers remains the gift of choice, look for the VeriFlora tag. VeriFlora is an eco-label for cut flowers that ensures strict standards for environmental and social sustainability. Though this label is more common in other countries, the Unites States is catching up. Check Organic Bouquet for ordering information.

Cards and Gift Wrap

While there are many ways to express appreciation or romantic sentiments on Valentine’s Day, traditions often include a handmade or hand-penned love note. For eco-friendly ways to say I love you

Design your own lettre d’amour
with a bold collage made from wrapping paper bits or fabric scraps. Use dried flowers, cut sections of old cards, and other papery odds and ends for a sophisticated look.

For pre-made utterances of affection, go with recycled content designs from outfits like…

Literally watch your love grow with soy-inked plantable cards embedded with wildflower seeds, check out:

For earth-friendly wraps:

  • Visit Papermojo
  • Browse your local natural health stores for brands like Natural Elements and Botanical Paperworks
  • Wrap your gift in yet another gift like a fair trade, handcrafted scarf

You can also make Valentine’s Day Crafts for all your sweet friends and family.

Get the Green Living Ideas book in softcover or PDF for as low as $2.99!

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