Red Roses, Green Hearts

Valentine’s Day is only a week away. Taking time to let your loved ones know how much they mean to you is a fine idea, but doing so with waste reduction and pollution prevention in mind can make your heart and your environmental impact light. Here are some resources to help ensure your love is like a green, green rose.

Flowers are a traditional token of affection, but have you considered the impact of pesticides used to grow them, or the impact of transporting certain varieties over long distances? Organic Bouquet is a popular provider of organically grown flowers, including roses. They have several assortments available for Valentine’s Day, as well as organic and fair trade chocolates, and charitable bouquets (the proceeds from which benefit various non-profit organizations dedicated to social justice, environmental protection, wildlife conservation, and animal rights). To reduce the amount of fossil fuels used to obtain your bouquet, check your area for locally grown organic flowers at the Local Harvest web site. They also have a special section on their site devoted to Valentine’s Day gifts. The Green Guide offers a few articles related to Valentine’s bouquets, including The Good Valentine by Aysha Hussain and Rose, Art Thou Sick? by P.W. McRandle. Check out the VeriFlora certification program that addresses the socially, environmentally, and agriculturally responsible aspects of flower and ornamental growing operations.

Information on organic and fair trade options for flowers, chocolate, wine and coffee is provided by the Green Guide in Chocolate SSC: Better Blooms, Bon-Bons, Fine Wines and Java. For information on lead levels in chocolate, see Lighter Hearts by P.W. McRandle on The Green Guide site. Consumer Reports Greener Choices web site provides product overviews on chocolate and roses.

Co-op America has an online Valentine’s Day Green Gift Guide featuring special offers from businesses listed in the National Green Pages. Global Exchange Fair Trade Store has a Valentine’s Day section on its web site featuring a variety of items, including a Fair Trade Valentine’s Day Action Kit. One of the criteria for fair trade certification is the use of sustainable production methods. The Organic Consumers Association has an online Valentine’s Buying Guide, which includes information on flowers, chocolate, wine, cards and gifts. The Great Green Goods blog features a Valentine’s Day category with loads of information on environmentally friendly gift options.

If you’re considering giving your special someone a bottle of cologne or perfume, check out the Environmental Working Group‘s Skin Deep database, which provides safety ratings and comparisons of various personal care products.

If you want to take your sweetheart out to dinner, the Green Restaurant Association can help you find a certified green restaurant. Alas, not all of the states in our region have listings.

Although it was compiled for the winter holidays, GLRPPR’s P2 for the Holidays compendium includes links to information on simplifying holiday celebrations that are applicable to Valentine’s Day and other holidays as well. Consider forgoing the commercialism this year–remember that the best (and greenest) gift you can give your special someone is your heart.

All of the links provided above are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as endorsements by GLRPPR or WMRC.

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