Valentine’s Day is coming up, but you still haven’t bought your significant other’s gift? Don’t despair, there’s still time! Better yet, it’s a great chance to add a little green to a holiday traditionally colored by reds, whites and pinks.
Fair Trade Chocolate
Fair trade is a movement setting the standard for economically fair and sustainable production of goods. Farmers involved in fair trade are encouraged to use the local natural habitat and to avoid using harmful pesticides on their products.
Chocolate is a wonderful gift for Valentine’s Day, but normal chocolate production is bad for the environment as it destroys rainforests and cacao normally is covered in pesticides. Fortunately for the chocoholic, the movement is growing so organic, fair trade chocolate is becoming more available. It costs more, but it’s definitely greener.
Where to Buy:
- Rohs Street Café
- Coffee Emporium
- Northside Farmer’s Market (only on Wednesday from 4-7 p.m.)
- Market Wines
Fresh cut flowers are pretty, but they don’t last very long, and they can get expensive as it gets closer to Valentine’s Day.
Now you’re probably thinking: “What’s the problem with fresh cut flowers? They’re natural and they just decay once they get sent to the landfill.”
Jennifer Grayson explains it really well in this Huffington Post article. It basically comes down to the same problem fair trade is trying to tackle: poor working conditions. Then you have the problem of pollution while distributing the flowers across the United States, pesticides and insecticides and to top it all off they emit methane when they wilt and decay. The alternative for flower lovers? Living, blooming flowers!
Blooming flowers live much longer and are much easier on the environment. Green thumbs don’t matter; many varieties of potted plants are hardy and low maintenance. They’re easy to find too; just visit any local grocery store or garden center and opt for the potted plant instead of the cut roses, or visit Apartment Therapy for ideas on what kind of flowers to look for. Beware, some plants/flowers can be very pricey. Lowe’s carries some reasonably priced house plants that range from $3 to $35.
Where to Buy:
- Local grocery store
- Garden centers
It might not sound like a good precedent to set by giving your loved one a recycled gift for Valentine’s Day, but that’s not your only option. (Although Global Good Partners has excellent recycled products.)
You can buy fair trade or locally made gifts instead. The Daily Green has some great ideas for what to look for while shopping.
Also instead of the traditional, cheesy Hallmark greeting card, consider making your own! Inhabitat has a couple examples that you can utilize to make creative, personalized cards.
Where to Buy:
So how about it? Are you planning on shopping green for Valentine’s Day? What about any other time? Have you ever bought fair trade, locally made or recycled products? If so, what? Let me know in the comments! Have a great Valentine’s Day!