By Zem Joaquin, ecofabulous.com
It’s that time of year when we use heart shaped goodies and perishable treats to express our love for friends, family, crushes and for our one and only – how about showing your love in more ways than one this year? We’ve scoured the greatest sustainable and seductive gifts that are floating around in cyberspace, to bring you the most ecofabulous options available (across all budgets), and hope sparks will fly as you celebrate your passion. But amid all the shopping, don’t forget your mother… earth, that is.
Chocolates For Melting an Eco-Heart:
Organic Style: Nothing says Happy Valentines Day more boldly than a heart-shaped box of chocolates. Artisan Chocolates from Organic Style come from fair trade cocoa, from Costa Rica, which is what makes this 17-piece offering such a lovely gift. In this box full of love, you’ll find hand-decorated, heart-shaped ganache in three delectable flavors: Bing Cherry, Madagascar Vanilla Bean and Jamaican Spice Caramels. Your sweetheart is sure to be sweet on this slight twist on tradition.
Cocoa Vino: Everyone should indulge in these lovely chocolates at some point, so why not now! These regional, sustainable and organic chocolates, made by artisanal perfection, are a simple but powerful way to show that someone special how much you care (about them and the earth). The ecofab favorite is the olive oil bonbon with hazelnut and sea salt – yum!
Theo Chocolate: Theo pioneered the organic chocolate movement, in 1994, and has been blossoming ever since. The award winning bars capture the flavors of the regions in which the beans are grown – like Madagascar and Venezuela – and are available at Whole Foods.
That bouquet may be a fragrant way to show your love, but it’s also, most likely, the result of unacceptable labor practices in foreign countries, where people (mostly women) are poorly paid and exposed to huge amounts of dangerous pesticides and fungicides. Make sure your next floral token carries its ethical weight.
Organic Style: Our favorite flower buys come from Organic Style. Go for the tried and true – what says “I love you, deeply” better than a velvety rich bouquet of a dozen red roses? Maybe two dozen? Organic stems are always appreciated (especially when the Rosa Parks Foundation gets a little boost from your purchase). Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, your beholder may prefer cosmopolitan lavender buds or the fresh-from-the-garden look of Aphrodite pink Roses. There are lots of colors and styles to choose from and all of their stems are Veriflora certified.
Or get really gifty and opt for a charity bouquet – in which 5% (10% in the case of the Rosa Rose) of the purchase price goes towards the organization paired with each made-to-order bouquet. To see all their Valentine’s Day specials, visit organicstyle.com
Or check out Local Harvest: find sources of local organics near you.
Conflict-Free Diamonds are a Green Girl’s Best Friend:
Jewelry is glamorous, however – from earth to finger – its making is not. The production of one gold ring is said to create 20 tons of mine waste! Additionally, the dirty business of where we get our rocks is getting difficult to ignore (hello Blood Diamond). Ensure the bauble on your lover’s finger (or anywhere else) will not support violence, human rights violations and environmental destruction by supporting ethical jewelers like the ones below.
Brilliant Earth: A shining example of earth-loving jewelry; they go beyond just pedaling beautiful jewels… they teach about diamond-related issues, offer gorgeous solutions and give back by supporting the Diamonds for Africa Fund. Their diamonds are exclusively mined in Canada, according to strict environmental laws, and – taking it a step further – they also use reclaimed precious metals (refined to be identical in quality to newly mined metals). And if you decide to choose Valentine’s Day to ask your significant other to share your life, or to just further celebrate your commitment to one another, Brilliant Earth is the chicest solution. If you’re just after a fancy find, a pair of diamond studs will do the trick.
Linda Loudermilk: this faucet necklace, constructed from reclaimed silver, will drop a fashion hint about water (one worth making) – part of L.L.’s “Water is a Human Right” Collection.
Verderocks: what designer Gwendolyn Davis has termed “nouveau vintage” employs only organic, vintage, recycled and “certifiably” sustainable materials. From condom cases to crowns, and all the jewelry in between, her stuff is contemporary with an antique twist that we just love, and we’re pretty sure so will YOUR queen… or king.
Verdier: handmade from components old and new, incorporating filigree, Lucite, glass and metals from the 1920s to the 1970s, these pieces are sure attract some eclectic tastes. Though the Brass Beetle pendant may not appear to be the most romantic of gestures, the right girl would be stoked to don it. If my son could afford it, he would love to make it my V-day gift (but I have a feeling I’m getting the collage card again).
Toby Pomeroy: When genius jeweler Toby asked the largest gold manufacturer to source pure gold, derived entirely from reclaimed sources, they agreed! So he and his skilled team of artisans use their Midas touch to churn out timeless, refined treasures with their brilliant Eco-Gold.
For Your Knight in Shining Amour:
CotoLuxe: any man would be lucky to don these duos – the Antler Corozo and the Indian Head Nickel Links, made from fallen rack antler horns and antique Native American nickels (respectively), and backed with corozo wafer buttons, made from South American tagua nut. And they come in the perfect gift package – a wooden box made from sustainably-managed, Canadian forests.
Citizen Eco Drive Watch: granted these watches are not made of recycled materials (which makes us unhappy) but they say goodbye to traditional batteries in favor of solar power. They come in a wide range of styles and colors, perfect for the man (or woman) in your life.
Apple iTunes Gift Certificate: we don’t have to tell you why downloading your tunes is more eco-friendly than accumulating a pile of disks. Feed a music addiction with amounts ranging from $10-$200. Maybe the recipient will use it to download some of your favorite love songs. That’s what we call a win-win.
For Love That’s on the Rocks:
If V-day drives you to drink, seek out a Veev “Valentini” or “Love on the Rocks”, which will be served at hotspots throughout LA, SF, San Diego and Miami. If you don’t live in one of these Veev-friendly cities, you can still order a bottle and make these organic, luscious libations at home.
For Your Queen of Green:
Vegan Queen: this red clutch comes from V.Q.’s collection of bags which are recyclable, non-toxic, organic, cruelty free, made in the USA and ooze “eco-luxury” from the core. Crafted with materials such as monogram-embossed 100% natural rubber, nickel-free zippers, PVC-free eco-polymers, organic cotton fleece lining and recycled crest medallions, it’s a hearty dose of goodness.
For the Frisky Environmentalist:
Enamore: it’s a fun and flirtatious lingerie collection produced in the UK from the finest organic hemp, soy, cotton and hand-selected vintage fabrics. Hard to say who is going to enjoy this sexy, sustainable stuff more!
Urban Fox undies: recently launched, Urban Fox’s handmade, eco-friendly undie sets are soft, silky and oh-so-sexy. We got to feel them over at the Eco Gift Expo, in Santa Monica, and can attest to their luxuriousness!
Eco-Boudoir: exquisitely sexy, this UK-based online boutique will take care of all of a sophisticated woman’s intimate apparel needs, while engaging in environmentally responsible business practices. Eco-luxury with a conscience – now that’s a gift.
Just Tell Me You Love Me:
Night Owl Paper Goods: these cute valentines are made from sustainably-harvested yellow birch, and come in five holiday designs. We’re partial to the “owl love you forever” of course, but to make the message loud and clear, send out the four letter word.
Care2 e-cards: go the most environmentally-friendly route, and send out one of these e-cards, from Care2. You’ll be able to find one for anybody and everybody who deserves your acknowledgment this year. The ThumbHug2 card will warm any parent’s heart, believe us.
World of Good Journal: a 100% wood-free journal made from recycled cotton waste, using a chemical free, handmade process in Rajasthan (thus supporting local economy). For the person who wants to capture their poetry, or the kid who needs a journal to pine over their childhood romances, these scribbles are where the heart is.
Beeswax Candle: Made from pure cinnamon essential oil and 100% natural beeswax, bring some light to your life this Valentine’s. A little ambiance goes a long way, this little candle burns for 5 hours, and is non-toxic and non-allergenic.
Sweet Thoughts Journal: this cute, little handmade journal utilizes a box of chocolate sweathearts as its cover and contains approx. 40% acid-free, recycled pages (not the most impressive of percentages, but…). Who can resist the little adages of this quintessential V-Day candy? “Be mine.” “Kiss me.” Carry them around in your pocket with this mini note pad.