A Greener Valentine’s Day

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green-heartAlthough Valentine’s Day is all about love, it can also be very wasteful. I am all about loving and caring and GIFTS… but there are many ways that we can swap the traditional gifts for some greener choices, showing the Earth a little love, too.

Here are some great options for a greener Valentine’s Day!

Chocolate: Who doesn’t love chocolate? Unfortunately most dark chocolate is diluted with sweeteners and additives. Plus, the cacao industry is known for child labor issues and dangerous working conditions. The best choice for chocolate is organic, dark chocolate (70 percent cacoa or higher) that is also Fair Trade certified.

Candles. Nothing says romance like candles flickering over a nice meal. However, conventional candles are made out of an oil industry byproduct called paraffin, which, when burned, releases toxins into the air. Artificially scented candles mean even more chemicals, and to make matters even worse, many wicks have toxic lead cores. Thankfully, beeswax and soy candles with natural wicks are readily available at many healthy food stores.

Aromatherapy : Artificial fragrances that are used in many conventional aromatherapy products contain harsh chemicals and toxins. These can be especially upsetting to those with environmental sensitivities. Instead, try essential oils, either on their own, or blended with these recipes.

Flowers: The traditional bouquet of red roses can come at a steep price. Cut flowers generally contain high levels of pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Additionally, like the cacao industry, the flower industry has been criticized for its working conditions overseas. Choose organic, Fair Trade flowers whenever possible. Read this blog to learn more. Or instead of flowers, give a plotted plant. Plotted plants can provide many health benefits and will last longer than a week.

Paper cards: It’s no surprise that paper products can contribute to deforestation. And when a holiday like Valentine’s Day comes along, it adds up to a lot of paper being purchased and disposed of without a lot of thought behind it. The good news is that it’s easy to find better paper options these days. Look for 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Other green terms to look for include “vegetable-based ink” and “chlorine-free.” Another great option is sending an e-card on the computer.

Body care products: From massage oils to body lotions, body care products are a Valentine’s Day staple for couples, but hormone-disrupting chemicals such as phthalates and parabens are anything but romantic. Opt for natural and organic products instead. Visit Village Green Apothecary for natural products that will safely and happily up your romance quotient!

Photo from here, with thanks.

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