Looking for gift ideas for Valentine’s Day that show your romantic side, but that are still earth-friendly? Going green for Valentine’s Day is easier than you may think. AusPen eco-friendly markers has selected the 10 best eco-friendly and economical Valentine’s Day gifts for women and men. From hand-blown glass vases, to natural beauty products to eco-friendly jewellery, you’ll be sure to find a gift idea that your sweetheart will love.
1. Organic, fair-trade chocolate
Chocolate just tastes better when you know that the growers are paid a fair wage and that the growing practices are less destructive to the environment. Fair Trade chocolate is typically organic and shade-grown under the canopy of the rainforest rather than in a clear cut field. Fair trade arrangements also provide for a social premium – extra money that is invested back into the communities for much-needed projects. Try Cocoa Camino, Divine, Maya Gold of Green & Blacks, and Presidents Choice chocolates marked with the Transfair logo.
2. Essential oil perfume
In the 2010 Environmental Working Group’s report, Not So Sexy – The Health Risks of Secret Chemicals in Fragrance, we learned that the chemicals added to commercial perfumes are very toxic and poorly regulated. 95% of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum and can be linked to cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders, hormone disruptions and allergic reactions. For natural perfumes made of essential oils, try Nantucket Natural Oils, Aubrey Organics, Lavender Farms, and Tigerflag Natural Perfumery.
3. Hand-blown glass vase, candle holder or jewellery
Crystal is a traditional choice for Valentine’s Day gifts, but quality crystal is made with lead, a heavy metal with serious health risks. There may also be lead present in some ceramic glazes. As a healthier alternative, consider hand-blown glass creations. Many glass artists use recycled glass to create beautiful and one-of-a-kind hand-blown vases, candle holders and jewellery. For a hand-blown glass creation, visit your local gallery or artisan shop.
4. Organic cotton pjs, towels, bedding, outdoor blankets
It is said that cotton is the ‘fabric of our lives’. But growing conventional cotton requires the use of enormous amounts of pesticides - approximately 25 percent of the world’s insecticide use and more than 10 percent of the world’s pesticides. These chemicals have a huge environmental impact and present health risks for those working with and around the cotton fields. For organic cotton pj’s, towels and bedding, try Gaiam, and for outdoor blankets try Blue Lotus.
5. Conflict-free, eco-friendly jewellery
Leonardo DiCaprio brought the troubling issue of ‘conflict diamonds’ to our attention in his 2006 movie, Blood Diamond, and the United Nations has said that conflict diamonds has been a crucial issue in fuelling wars. Ensure that the country of origin of any diamonds is not on the UN blacklist. Also, recycled gold is a green choice as the production of one gold ring generates 20 tons of waste. Some green jewellery retailers include: Brilliant Earth, GreenKarat, and Faeries Dance.
1. Natural grooming products with essential oils.
Conventional grooming products such as cologne, hair product and shaving cream can contain phthalates, dyes, parabens, and other harsh synthetic ingredients. For natural personal care products for men, try Organic Grooming, Burt’s Bees Natural Grooming, Bulldog, and The Natural Grooming Company.
2. Organic massage oils
Synthethic-based massage oil contain mineral oil, which is a petroleum by-product. Natural vegetable, seed or nut oils would be a greener choice, and healthier for the skin. Weleda, Lush, Happy Endings and Earth to Body have products that use certified organic oils and 100% natural products.
3.A low-flow shower head
Many newer energy-efficient showerheads conserve energy and water without changing water pressure. Low-flow showerheads use up to 70 percent less water than standard showerheads, and can save approximately 15 percent on the cost of heating your water.
4. Tree-free journal
A journal is a sweet Valentine’s Day gift, giving your man the opportunity to record memories and dreams, especially if it is a green journal. 2011 is the United Nation’s International Year of Forests. Reducing our consumption of paper made from virgin fibre will alleviate the pressure on this limited natural resource. Tree-free paper can be made from the fiber of banana leaf, sugar cane husk, hemp, jute, flax, bamboo, sisal and even crushed stone. Some retailers that sell tree-free paper include: Green Field Paper Company, Kenaf Paper Products, Living Tree Paper and EcoPaper.
5. Repurposed accessories
Guys generally love technology and gadgets – why not repurpose a gadget into a cool, one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day gift? Online retailers offer recycled circuit board cufflinks, rubber messenger bags, necktie wallets, bicycle wheel clocks, bike chain bottle openers, doorknob bottle stoppers…you get the picture.
AusPen Markers are the eco-friendly alternative to disposable dry erase markers. Made from 100% recycled aluminum, AusPen markers are refillable with low-odor, non-toxic ink, and are recyclable. You never need to throw away another dry erase marker, or inhale toxic fumes.
Schools and businesses can significantly reduce their toxicity and waste while saving money.
SOURCE: AusPen Eco-Friendly Markers,
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