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Green Acts of Love: Gift Ideas for an Eco-friendly Valentine’s Day

by Katie Leo 

Tags: Environment, Green Living, Eco-friendly Valentine's Day Gifts, Treehugger, Sweet Organics and Naturals, Voltaic Systems, Reader's Digest Canada,

/uploadedImages/utne/blogs/Environmentalism/valentines day.jpgWhether you consider it a genuine holiday for expressing sincere affection or a Hallmark-created sham, Valentine’s Day tends to generate a mixed bag of emotions.  If you fall into the former camp, a plethora of eco-friendly gifts exists to ease the burden of your love on both the environment and your conscience.  Here are few ideas:  

1) Treehugger offers a list of alternatives to traditional Valentines gifts, such as fair trade chocolate and organic flowers.  My favorite suggestion is to cook a meal at home with local ingredients rather than dine at a fancy restaurant.      

2) In lieu of the ubiquitous heart-shaped trinkets, Sweet Organics and Naturals sells a variety of accessories created from recycled materials.  Check out their cool selection of earrings made out of antique dishware, Noxema jars, WWII era Mason Jars, and even Schlitz beer bottles.

3) For those willing to plunk down serious cash, Voltaic Systems designs a line of backpacks and messenger bags which are, according to their site, “mobile solar power generators designed to charge virtually all handheld electronics.”  Each bag comes equipped with solar panels, so a few hours in the sun will keep your iPod humming.  With the cheapest model going for $199, this gift might feel more like a major investment.

4) Reader’s Digest Canada encourages you to reconnect with your inner Shakespeare and compose a poem on biodegradable seed paper which, after sharing with your beloved, you can then plant.  Something very Buddhist about how that embraces the idea of impermanence.

5) And after researching numerous suggestions for eco-friendly Valentine’s Day gifts, I came up with an idea of my own: rather than spend money on a gift, why not simply spend time with your loved one? 

Sources: Treehugger, Sweet Organics and Naturals, Voltaic Systems, Reader’s Digest Canada

Image by evoo73, licensed under Creative Commons