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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Planning a green Valentine's

Green heart leafThis Saturday marks my husband and my 19th anniversary as a couple. Since we don't really have an exact date when we started dating (we were friends before), we arbitrarily use Valentine's Day as our anniversary. I still remember what we got each other. I'm hoping my husband will be healthy for our 20th one next year! Anyway...

Before 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.

15 comments:

hustler said...

I absolutely love that photo!

carsick said...

I didn't expect the photo. I needed a good laugh this morning!
Our son's birthday is on V-Day.

jewishfarmer said...

Quite the morning wake up picture.

I'd add on the subject of flowers - if you can, get them locally. It isn't just the pesticides - flowers are mostly water, and shipping them around the planet is a huge ecological problem. Even where I live, you can force bulbs in February, and grow miniature roses indoors. Give flowers that didn't have to fly from Ecuador.

Sharon

Jim Smith II said...

Another great post CC (the the picture at the bottom caught me a little off guard).

Anyway... Heirloom jewelry is a great idea! There's usually a ton of stuff to chose from at antique or consignment shops, and it has never failed to impress the receiver.

Wishing you guys a happy 19th and healthy 20th!

EJ said...

Wishing you a happy 19th, 20th, 21st and beyond.

Robj98168 said...

LOL on the pic- I don't think my pubes are going to go shocking pink! Although it would hide the gray! Hmmmmmmmm
This year I am buying candy in bulk from Boehm's(the sell the best diabetic candies) And putting them inro a small heart shape wooden box for mommy, and using furoshiki wrapping for the rest

Mimi said...

my husband and I don't do flowers. We go to a local nursery instead and buy local plants that flower a bit. lasts a lot longer than a bouquet!

Anonymous said...

My wedding set came from the pawn shop. I insisted -- there's nothing wrong with it, I still like it just as well as I did. Plus, it might not have been 'fair trade' originally,but we didn't contribute to bad juju by getting it used.

Undersharing said...

Awesome. Our dinner in is probably going to have some out of season food, since we live in the north and both have a weak spot for homemade Tex-Mex. Avocadoes make me gooey inside, as does fresh salsa with lots of habaneros and cilantro. Of course, there's no hope of getting local versions in February. I'm trying to make up for it with the gift, which my hunny and I discussed and settled on a fabric lab notebook cover made from stash scraps. Heck, he was the one who suggested a furoshiki! <3.

I *AM* hoping that this all results in the trashing of a few bits of latex, however.

Leon said...

I'm all for just not celebrating V-day.
Maybe it's different for others but I feel like it's a "holiday" forced down our throats and celebrated through guilt.

fernwise said...

I've decided I'm going to make my own 'edible bouquet' thing, using local fresh pears and apples and cranberries, along with frozen local fruits out of my freezer. Pear halves are already most of the way 'heart' shaped, apples can become flowers, cranberries will be accents. That, a local baguette, and a baked brie should be a fine romantic breakfast!

Fern

Robj98168 said...

Instead of Roses, why not buy some rose bushes- then your loved one will get roses for alot longer than just Valentines day!

Farmer's Daughter said...

We don't really do anything special for V-day. Hubby's been working on our pantry cabinets and he will install them today and make them my present (kind of how our kitchen backsplash became my bday present last year...).

I'm cooking a special dinner: chocolate cheesecake with strawberry topping. Frozen berries are the only local part. It's a holiday! Beef short ribs from our cow in the freezer, which hubby's been asking for, and some veggies frozen from our garden.

As for flowers, I saw my daffodils start to peek out of the ground yesterday, so that made me WAY happier than any roses could.

Leila Abu-Saba said...

Here's wishing for many, many more Valentine's Days for you & Mr. Crunchy. I think of you and pray for you often.

Linda A said...

I plan on celebrating with my sweetie with a little of all 5 of your suggestions. The jewelry may be wishful thinking though.

Linda of Citizen Green

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