While Valentine's Day has been a time to show love to a special person in your life, the holiday has not been traditionally considered to be earth friendly. Advertisers try to convince consumers that their item will ensure everlasting happiness with no concern for the environmental impact of their products. If you want to take part in the festivities, while continuing to reduce your impact on the earth, here are some options to consider in lieu of traditional Valentine's gifts.
There are many products out in the market made with recycled material. These are a great alternative to buying newly made greeting cards. However, take an extra step and create your own card out of recycled materials. Many things we use on a daily basis can be converted into cards with a little ingenuity, like FedEx envelopes and food boxes. Be creative with your Valentine's greeting. Your special someone will appreciate the thoughtfulness and time you spend on handmade creation. Also, e-Cards are always a good option to consider.
Instead of traditional boxes of candy, choose fair trade and organic varieties of your favorite confections. Consider creating your own Valentine's confections. There are many heart-shaped cake or bread pans and candy molds available to help you make something for your special one. Homemade red velvet cupcakes decorated with vanilla icing will be more appreciated by your special one than an impersonal box of candy.
Reusable items are the gifts that keep on giving. A wonderfully unusual idea is to give your loved one a set of reusable dinnerware with the promise of more home cooked dinners to come. Noritake Colorwave stoneware is a good choice in dinnerware. They come in a variety of hues to match anyone's dining room décor and are microwave, oven and dishwasher safe. Present your loved one with a romantic dinner basket containing the Raspberry Colorwave dishes and a bottle or organic locally made wine, if available, with dinner waiting in the kitchen for a gift your sweetheart won't soon forget.
If you have a backyard garden of your own, a handpicked flower in a simple glass vase would be a lovely sentiment to present to your Valentine. If you don't have your own garden, instead of bouquets of dying flowers, consider giving a living plant, a small herb garden or seeds to begin one themselves. When choosing a plant, avoid those that are poisonous to pets if your recipient has some furry friends. The American Humane Society's website has a downloadable list of all possible hazardous plants to household animals. A small bamboo or cactus plant are great options. They need little care and provide a lasting reminder of your consideration for the planet as well as for your Valentine.
The recommendations above show that with some creativity and planning, you can observe Valentines' Day without unnecessary harm to the earth. You and your beloved can share a special and romantic day knowing that you have done your part this holiday to keep the planet a greener place.
Originally published by Dawn Meisch for Sheer Balance - Copyright 2009
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