Feb 13, 2010

6 Eco-friendly Gift Ideas for Valentine's Day

On Valentine's Day, people share wonderful moments together and make them more meaningful with a special Valentine present. This year, carry on the tradition with a bit of twist: give green Valentine gifts. Here are some ideas.

1. Tree-friendly Valentine Cards
Next to Christmas, Valentine's Day is the largest card-sending holiday of the year. In fact, 25 percent of all seasonal cards annually are Valentine cards. According to American Greetings Corporation, around a billion valentine cards are sent each year around the world.

Make a difference by choosing cards that are made from recycled or tree-free paper. Card makers usually indicate this at the back of every card. Homemade cards are also a good choice. Make cards out of recycled materials such as thick cardboards, used fabric, old buttons, etc. Creativity and resourcefulness are green virtues.

2. E-books

E-books do not consume paper and do not use up fuel upon delivery. Purchase an e-book that will be of good use to the recipient. For example, a mother who loves to cook might enjoy an e-book of recipes. A dog lover would love an e-book about dog breeds, while a female teenager might appreciate a romance novel.

3. Organic Chocolates

Over 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold each year. It's not bad to be part of the statistic but, for a change, try something different. Organically grown chocolates contain cacao products that were grown without the aid of harmful pesticides. Buying produce from local fair traders helps support sustainable farming and reduce carbon footprint.

Organic chocolates are also good for one's health. When eaten in moderation, they can help improve heart health, control blood sugar, and suppress chronic cough.

4. Locally Grown Organic Flowers

Valentine’s Day is the holiday when most fresh flower purchases are made. Try to add more meaning to the tradition by choosing locally grown organic flowers. Organic flowers are pesticide-free and just as beautiful as the ones grown using conventional gardening. Buying locally grown organic flowers also helps support local growers who advocate environmentally friendly flower farming. Organically grown flowers are usually sold at a fair trade or from flower shops.

Here are a few reasons why locally grown organic flowers are the best choice this Valentine season:

Organic flower farming provides healthier conditions for workers, supports sustainable organic farming practices, and avoids harmful toxic products (artificial pesticides that are often used in conventional flower farming)
Locally grown flowers provide jobs to people within the community, are fresher when bought at nearby flower shops, and use less fuel upon transport or delivery.
A 1997 report found that commercially grown roses contain 1,000 times the amount of cancer-causing pesticides when compared with food products. *
5. Potted Plant
How about giving a potted plant as gift? Potted plants have longer life than freshly cut flowers, which means that they will add to clean air for some time. Giving plants as gifts also encourages people to appreciate flora and give them as gifts too.

6. Jewelry
About 10 percent of engagements happen on Valentine’s day. Hence, the number of jewelry purchases during this occasion is relatively high. Consider purchasing pre-owned jewelry from jewel makers who are certified to be sourcing gemstones and precious metals in an ecologically and socially responsible manner. Buying pre-owned jewelry also helps reduce production rate and consequently, added waste. Another option would be to purchase something offbeat like jewelry made of beads, wood, or other materials.

Read more at Suite101: Green Valentine Gifts: 6 Eco-friendly Gift Ideas for Valentine's Day http://natural-products.suite101.com/article.cfm/green-valentine-gifts#ixzz0fNzFVf6I