Dining Out

Published on February 14th, 2012 | by Vivian Nelson Melle


Last Minute Eco-Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Today is Valentine’s Day and you waited until the last minute to purchase a gift for your love. Forgo the gift cards, chocolates and diamonds because you can still make this one of the best Valentine’s Days ever while embracing Mother Earth. Here are some great last minute eco-Valentine’s ideas sure to please your sweetie.

CSA Basket

CSA Basket

Subscription to a CSA

Don’t worry if V-day slipped your mind, the veggies are coming to the rescue. Most cities now house several Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) choices. A little research online can provide choices along with the necessary paperwork, most of which is now online. After all, most farmers were the original eco-warriors. CSAs usually require the member to bring their own bag so purchase a pretty bag and add a bow along with the proof of membership. Getting a season’s worth of fresh, locally-grown fruits and veggies is sure to leave any food lover swooning. For carnivores there are sometimes meat packages also available for purchase. Of course the veggie package may be a subtle nudge to help your lover choose the path of vegetarian, especially if you offer a booklet of free dinner coupons. Of course you are the one cooking so find some great recipes at Eat Drink Better.

{cc photo courtesy of travelingmcmahans on Flickr}

Botanical garden

Botanical garden

Museum Membership

Give the gift that gives long past cupid’s holiday. Museum memberships not only offer a great way for your loved one to enjoy trips to their favorite spots for enjoying Monet or botanical loveliness, they also support local arts and conservatory efforts. Art museums, zoos and gardens all thrive on  donations and memberships. These places also usually offer special event discounts to members and even members-only events.

{cc photo courtesy of Rantes  on Flickr}

Happy hour fare

Happy hour fare

Happy Hour

So you waited too long and now there are no openings for dinner on Valentine’s Day, that’s okay. Many local indie restaurants began offering great happy hour specials when the economy headed south. Most happy hours take place at the bar, which is almost always open and without need of reservations. You may have to start your evening a little earlier, but that gives you time for more fun later. Enjoy several appetizers at happy hour and venture off to a local ice cream parlor to split a chocolate malt.

{cc photo courtesy of nancy_t3i  on Flickr}

local deli

Local deli

Carpet Picnic

Oh boy, I have perfected the carpet picnic. A nod to Pretty Woman, the carpet picnic is simply a mishmash of tasty treats eaten on the floor picnic-style. It’s a great choice for those low on funds, back in high school and college my boyfriend and I were carpet picnic pros. We’d visit the local DeFalco’s Italian Deli and get several samplings of cheeses, breads, salads and desserts and gorge ourselves on the delicious fare. If you don’t have  a favorite local deli, use this as your intro to get to know the owner and build a relationship. Bonus points if you find one that makes fresh mozzarella, oh so delicious.

{cc photo courtesy of Steve Parker on Flickr}

gift certificate

Gift certificate

Gift Certificates

Again, you waited until the last minute but that doesn’t mean your sweetheart needs to know. Buy a gift certificate to a local clothes boutique, restaurant or for services like a massage or manicure. Wrap the gift certificate and include a small bouquet of wildflowers for a sweet touch. Include some information about why supporting local businesses is so important in your gift. Not only is this a great teaching moment,it also proves you put some careful thought into the gift.

{cc photo courtesy of abbeyrosete  on Flickr}

What do you have planned for your Valentine? Was eco-friendliness a factor in your choice?

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About the Author

Vivian Nelson Melle is a writer and life coach helping individuals, families, and businesses thrive. She supports small businesses especially in the areas of Green Living, Health, and Wellness. She can be found at www.viviannelsonmelle.com and www.craftyvivi.com

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