Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Planning a green Valentine's

Green heart leafBefore you go red for Valentine's Day, think green. There are several things you can do this Valentine's to tread a little bit lighter on the earth:

1. The Dinner Out. Why not try dinner in instead? Shop your local Farmers Market (if you have a winter market going this time of year) or buy local or organic from your favorite independent grocer. Not only will eating at home save you money, but you have more control over the ingredients. And your sweetie will appreciate the extra love that went into slaving over a hot stove.

If eating out is more your bag, try to find a restaurant that features local or organic products. If you don't have any in your area or you want to try a restaurant that doesn't focus on organic, then choose less meat-based items. The impact of your dinner will be lower and you won't feel guilty for the splurge. Now's also a good time to remind you seafood lovers of the Seafood Watch Program provided by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It lists which fish to order (or not) and why. Finally, if you are really into it, take public transportation, or walk or ride your bikes if you are eating out.

2. The Flowers. Is there a better way to say "I love you" than giving your loved one flowers that are pesticide free? Who wants to breathe in the scent of all those roses if they are coated in toxic chemicals? Not to mention the danger to the workers processing the flowers. Instead, order your flowers from the many organic producers that are out there. And, if you don't believe me, rent Maria Full of Grace to see a fictionalized account of the flower packing industry, among other things.

3. The Rocks. For some, Valentine's Day is the day to pop the question or to show a little appreciation through gems, jewelry and other baubles. You'll want to look for diamonds and gold that avoid the environmental and human-rights violations inherent in the industry. Even supposedly conflict-free diamonds are questionable. Why not try to find a more sentimental antique or heirloom quality piece of jewelry instead?

4. The Chocolate. Now we're talking. Just make sure you look for organic and fair-trade certified chocolates. You both can indulge in some sweets without the worry. My favorite organic, local, fair-trade chocolatier is Theo Chocolates just down the street. It's a win-win situation around here.

Love me, love my merkin5. The Nookie. Even if you and your partner have been around as long as Methuselah, why not put some spark into your relationship with some inexpensive at-home fun? You can start off by playing a "romantic" board or card game, watching a "suggestive" movie, or taking a "hot" bath together.

And finally, don't forget to check out my take on Greenpeace's Guide to Environmentally Friendly Sex.

10 comments:

DirkStar said...

My wife and I tried the bath thing but it ended in disaster when we both entered the tub together and flooded the apartment below us...

The old couple almost drowned when the tsunami wave hit them.

It was awful.

Greenpa said...

As a producer who sells stuff to fancy restaurants- I gotta tell ya, they're not having a good time right now, with a looming recession and the arrival of Peak Patsies threatening "normal" businesses.

I've got nothing against a romantic dinner at home- but- it may be time to think also of supporting your favorite restaurant. Cheap? No- but I'd hate to see the wonderful chefs now focusing on local produce disappear- and it's not impossible.

Jennifer said...

I am out of town this valentine's Day... so nothing will be done on our end.

I usually make a card out of old red and pink and white paper scraps and such, and will probably do that.

Last year we ate dinner in... it was my favorite Valentine's Day ever! It was so relaxing. I didn't have to worry about finding shoes to go out, or find my purse, etc. My husband and I just cooked together (something nice and simple, too... leave the gourmet for other times), and then set a nice looking table with a bottle of wine. We had put a "no presents" rule on Valentine's Day, so there were no flowers or anything... though he did sneak in some hand dipped local chocolates (as in MADE locally, not GROWN locally... )

Chile said...

I'm going to a free cooking demo tonight on chocolate for Val. Day. Maybe I'll splurge and make something special for my sweetie. I've got organic fairtrade chocolate....oh, and some dried cherries that I could dip in it. Or, or, I could make cherry chocolate chunk cake in the shape of a heart. (8" square + round cake cut in half - cover with frosting)

Greenpa, I wondered if restaurants were going to be hurting this year. Flower shops, too, I'll bet although I avoid them for the reasons Crunchita mentions.

Anonymous said...

Oh Crunchy,
The picture you put up made me laugh out loud! My hubby and I will make sure our rendevous is eco-friendly as well as Hot!

helwen said...

V-day is usually celebrated with making something special at home, doing little extra things for each other (or finally getting some task done that the other person asked for! :D

We haven't had a tub that would fit two people for years, but a few times my husband's drawn a bath for me, with candlelight and such, and let me just relax for a while, while he tidied up and cooked a simple meal for us.

Mutual foot rubs can be a nice, free, treat too.

***
We still eat out once in a while. Our favorite place right now is probably the pizza place in town. Only 2 miles away, they make the dough themselves for the pizzas and grinders. They also make the soup/chili of the day themselves. I The cookies, muffins and brownies (and some other dessert things in the little cooler) come from the local baker in town. Simple, great food that also doesn't bother my digestion the way Dominoes and other commercial pizzas do. Another favorite of ours is a Chinese restaurant the next town over -- 15 miles, and higher price range, so that's more of a couple times a year thing. Very high quality food there.

Otherwise, we prefer to be at home for meals. I'm still working on traveling food, for when we're on the road. L needs some crunchy foods for the times we have to drive a long way somewhere (helps keep him awake). Thankfully those trips are fewer and farther between than they used to be. And no, carrot sticks only get him so far, so that isn't the (sole) solution. Guess I'll have to learn how to make crackers or chips...

just ducky said...

Eeeeek! Gotta tell you that the picture of the pink furry koochi-koo made me throw up in my mouth a little...:)

april said...

Again, I have a horror story about getting my, um, uh, 'delicate parts' stuck in a plater mold.....the sticky-furry heat thing pains me.

april said...

I mean plaster and heart

I swear letters get lost when I hit the publish button, shi !

Jason C said...

I hope you don't mind that I included you in my list of Green Valentine's Guide.

Keep up the good work!

http://www.screamtobegreen.com/2008/02/not-my-green-valentines-gift-guide/

-Jason

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