Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Trying to impress your valentine? Yes, yes we all are, but with a little foresight you can also have a green(er) Valentine’s Day.

Let’s start with the card: according to the Greeting Card Association, Americans purchase 7 billion cards a year and they buy most of those cards on Christmas and…Valentine’s Day. Additionally, the “majority of Americans say they prefer the old-fashioned handwritten card or letter to make someone feel truly special.” So what to do? Try electronic cards or environmentally sensitive paper greeting cards with “100% post-consumer content (PCC)” specified.

The dozen flowers you just purchased are very romantic but are very South American and are probably soaked in pesticides. Look for flowers with the VeriFlora certification, which guarantees “that flowers and potted plants have been produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner and meet the highest standards for freshness and quality.” To gain certification, growers and handlers must meet six criteria: sustainable crop production, ecosystem protection, resource conservation and energy efficiency, integrated waste management, fair labor practices, community benefits.

As for the chocolate, finding organic chocolate shouldn’t be that difficult anymore but here are a few. Green & Black’s chocolate is both organic and Fair Trade. Dagoba Chocolate not only features organic chocolate, but their wrappers are 100% recycled and use vegetable based inks. And their facility is 100% powered by renewal energy. If you still haven’t found that perfect bar of chocolate, check out Endangered Species Chocolate, who donates 10% of their net profits to “help support species, habitat and humanity.”

Finally, tell her she has cute shoes. Good luck!

For a complete Valentine’s Day green gift guide, visit here.

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