Go Green for Valentine’s Day 2012 - 5 Tips from EcoSmart Products
Chocolates wrapped in cellophane, flowers sprayed with pesticides, cards made of virgin paper…it’s not hard to see how showing your affection on Valentine’s Day can be hard on Mother Earth. This February 14, spread the love by going green for Valentine’s Day. Here are 5 top tips for an eco-friendly way to spend time with your sweetheart. Tip 1: Leave messages for your sweetheart with non-toxic dry-erase markers and lipstick on mirrors, tile, glass or other non-porous surfaces. A scavenger hunt of clues left on the bathroom mirror, the fridge, the front door window pane and finally the car window could lead to a gift or plans for a romantic date. Choose non-toxic and refillable markers like AusPen Eco-Friendly Markers, and lead-free lipstick like the ones offered at the Body Shop and MAC. Tip 2: Set up an eco-friendly spa experience with natural products and fragrances. Synthetic-based beauty products often contain phthalates, dyes, parabens, and petroleum by-products, so explore some natural products to intrigue the senses. Select a massage oil made from vegetable, seed or nut oils. Give your man a shave with healthier products from Organic Grooming or the Natural Grooming Company. Set the mood with beeswax candles, a renewable, all natural product that burns cleanly without releasing the toxins of regular candles. Tip3: If looking for a Valentine’s gift, consider the hidden environmental or health costs. Chocolate is a classic gift on Valentines, but many practices in the chocolate industry involve intensive, pesticide-heavy production and less than fair labor conditions. Cocoa Camino, Green & Blacks, and President’s Choice chocolates marked with the Transfair logo will make this gift even sweeter. A similar caveat can be given for the other time-honored Valentine’s gift. Gold and diamond jewelry can be resource-intensive and cause even bigger societal problems. For example, one gold ring generates 20 tons of waste, and according to the United Nations, diamonds have been critical in fuelling wars. If you are looking for a little bling this holiday, you may want to look for items made of recycled gold, and ensure that the country of origin for your diamonds is not on the UN’s diamond blacklist. Tip4: Have dinner at a restaurant that specializes in organic or locally-grown food. It feels good knowing that you are supporting the local food industry and cutting down on food miles. Alternatively, if you envision staying in from the cold, or if you are the culinary type, making dinner yourself from locally-grown ingredients or items from the local farmer’s market will help to set the mood for a relaxing evening. Tip5: Spend some time in nature as a couple doing something new. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, exploring the nearby hiking trails, taking a local historical walking tour, tandem bike riding… a new adventure in the fresh air can send sparks and feel like a natural way to celebrate love and create memories. Creating an earth-friendly Valentine's Day will not only lessen the demands we place on our planet, but it can also be a fun way to establish your own unique traditions in which green is the new red.