St. Valentine's Day on February 14 is a day for romantic partners and secret admirers to celebrate their love by exchanging small gifts, flowers and candy. Traditionally, red is the color that sets the mood for this day. Is it possible then to "go green" for this holiday? Absolutely! Here are some ideas on how to do just that.
Make a difference for the environment by purchasing VeriFlora-certified flowers. VeriFlora is a sustainability certification and eco-labeling program with the mission of promoting horticulture practices that build soil, conserve water and support healthy ecosystems. For details visit www.veriflora.com. To order certified flowers online for your sweetheart try www.flowerbud.com or www.organicstyle.com.
If you are opting not to give cut flowers at all, consider an edible arrangement. Edible Arrangements, a Fruit and Chocolate Specialty company that has 1013 outlets worldwide, can make chocolate covered strawberries to look like long stemmed roses! You can check for a store located near you by logging on to www.ediblearrangements.com.
Should you be thinking of expressing your heart’s desire with a piece of jewelry on Valentine's Day, try paying a visit to www.tenthousandvillages.com. Ten Thousand Villages is one of the world's largest fair trade organizations and serves as a source for unique handmade gifts made by thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Product sales help pay for food, education, healthcare and housing for artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed.
Let’s not forget about our delectable staple for this day: chocolate! Richard Cadbury introduced the first Valentine's Day box of chocolate in 1868. Today, even your purchase of a chocolate gift can be a socially responsible choice. The Global Exchange is a fair trade online store (www.globalexchange.org) by criteria includes fair wages, humane working conditions and environmentally sustainable practices.
You can also surprise that special someone with a Chocoholics gift basket packaged in recycled materials and wrapped in biodegradable cellophane. If your sweetheart is keeping her new year's resolution to lose weight, she may enjoy a CD called Putumayo's Music from the Chocolate Lands (if you’re in Singapore, you can find a range of Putomayo Music Collections in the National Geographic Store in Vivo City). Hoping to set a romantic mood with candlelight? Since you breathe what you burn, make them the natural variety. Bluecorn Naturals offers a selection of beeswax, soy wax and palm wax candles and aromatherapy products. Visit www.beeswaxcandles.com. Pennsylvania Soy Candles is a local supplier of soy candles. They use soy wax produced from the oil of soybeans — a biodegradable and renewable resource making soy candles environmentally friendly and supporting the American Farmers. (Visit www.pasoy.com).
If you don't have a love interest this Valentine's Day, you can still do something to help the environment. According to Wiki Answers, over 250 million Valentine's Day greeting cards are given each year in the U.S. That number tops 1 billion worldwide. Help offset this paper use by planting a tree. The Nature Conservancy launched a "Plant a Billion Trees" campaign — one dollar plants one tree. (For details visit http://plantabillion.org). From their homepage, you can pass on the word about this program via Facebook or Twitter, or send an e-card. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, "trees make a world of difference. They are inspiring people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. Check out their programs too at www.arborday.org and show your love for our great planet.
Happy Valentine’s Day, and remember that every day is an opportunity to spread the love not just to family and friends, but to our beloved Earth as well.