If there was ever a day for wine, chocolate, and roses, it’s Valentine’s Day. But wine (even organic wine) is bad for your liver, most of the chocolate sold for “V” Day has too much sugar (find the healthy chocolate here and here), and conventionally grown roses are terrible for the environment. Most are grown in Colombia or Ecuador, where they are sprayed with a concoction of toxic chemicals too harmful to be allowed in the United States and Europe. Then they’re stored in refrigerated warehouses and flown to the US. All that adds up to a pretty large carbon footprint.
If you want to give Mother Nature some love for Valentine’s Day, send locally grown flowers. Use the “Slow Flowers” directory to find growers in your area. Another eco-friendly option is to send your love a collection of heirloom wildflower seeds from the Seed Savers Exchange or Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.
There are lots of eco-friendly Valentine’s gift ideas that aren’t wine, chocolate, or roses. Here are a few you can find on Etsy, rather than at large corporately-owned stores.
1. Paper flowers that turn into actual
These paper flowers have seeds embedded right into the paper. Plant, water, and watch the wildflowers grow! They can be sent in a box, as a bouquet, or as a set. Buy them at Paper Sprouts, $22 to$180.
2. A heart that blooms
If you want something that represents love more literally, these hearts contain seeds, too. Buy them at Paper Sprouts, $22.
3. A flowering heart card
These heart cards are made with recycled paper and wildflower seeds. Plant, water, and voila! Your heart blooms. Buy them at Plantables And Paper, $9.50 for a set of 10.
4. Beeswax heart shaped candles
Show how much your love burns with these handmade beeswax candles. Beeswax candles burn cleaner (read more about it in my previous post), and these candles don’t contain toxic dyes and are made with organic cotton wicks. Buy them at Elizaville Beeswax, $2.50 each.
5. A wreath that tells a story
This wreath is literally ripped straight from the pages of Pride and Prejudice. Each rose is made from old book pages (remember those?). A perfect gift for your little bookworm, or your favorite English teacher. Each one is handmade in the US. Different stories are available. Buy it at Rose Flower 48, $30.
If your heart sings with love, they also make wreaths with vintage sheet music. A few styles come with a paper rose in the middle as well. $19-$27, depending on the size.
6. Wear your heart on your sleeve sweatshirt
You’ll love this “I wear my heart on my sleeve” sweatshirt because it’s made with organic cotton and recycled poly. Buy it at Swinging From the Trees, $45.
7. For the nature lover
Stained glass might conjure up memories of the 1970s or Catholic churches, but let these remind you how much you love nature. Buy the Ravens at BerlinGlass for $249, and the feathers at Tetreault Family Farm, $28.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Feature image credit Coffee and Milk at iStock