Be My Green Valentine

Check out last year’s “Red Roses, Green Hearts” post for great information on how to show your love for the environment this Valentine’s Day. As of 2/13/08, all the links included in that post are still active. That post includes information on organic flowers; green gift guides; organic and fair trade chocolate, wine and coffee; safety ratings for perfume and cologne; and green restaurants.

The Chicago Edition of Ideal Bite also reports that the InterContinental Chicago is offering a green valentine hotel package for $219 a night and up, February 14-16. They also recently featured information on Ellie Thompson, a Chicago jewelry designer that uses reclaimed metals and fair-trade gems to create wearable works of art, if you’re considering jewelry for your special someone. The national Ideal Bite also offers additional information on organic flowers.

New American Dream’s Conscious Consumer Marketplace can also help you find environmentally and socially responsible Valentine’s Day gifts, such as flowers, chocolate, and jewelry. TreeHugger has also compiled a Valentine’s Day Gift Guide.

Finally, consider an electronic card instead of a paper one. For example, the National Wildlife Federation has Valentine’s Day e-cards available.

Have Yourself a Green Holiday Season

The holidays are upon us and so are the suggestions for making them a little more environmentally friendly.

Environmental Protection Magazine provides green holiday suggestions from the Nature Conservancy in the article “Tips: Dreaming of a Green Christmas”. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has some excellent suggestions for a no-waste holiday while Use Less Stuff offers 42 Tips to Trim Your Holiday Wasteline.Green Gift Guide logo

U.S. EPA suggests ways to add some green to your travel and recycle for a tech savvy holiday and San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Susan Fornoff examines the environmental impact of real and artificial Christmas trees in her article,“Real vs. Fake: Which Tree is Greener?”

Librarians’ Internet Index points to several sites with a focus on green crafts:

On the retail side, Barneys New York is lighting their tree with LEDs this holiday season. They also have a green gift guide for items available from…Barneys. Meanwhile, Grist reviews the green gift offerings from Target, Wal-Mart, and K-Mart.

Yahoo! and Treehugger offer green gift suggestions from a plethora of retailers. The Madison (WI) Public Library, California Department of Conservation, Eco-Libris, Grist,, Environmental Defense, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Co-op America, and the Sierra Club also have green gift guides.

If your favorite tip for a more sustainable holiday isn’t covered by these sources, post it in the comments.

National Pollution Prevention Week, Sept. 17-23; Share Your Celebrations!

National Pollution Prevention (P2) Week is the third full week in September each year, making it September 17-23 for 2007. Pollution prevention is reduction or elimination of pollution at the source, and involves more efficient use of resources, the substitution of less harmful substances for hazardous ones, and the elimination of toxic substances from production processes. The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable offers tips for preventing pollution at home, work, and school on its web site.

If you’re planning an activity or celebration in honor of P2 Week, or if your organization offers information on its web site promoting P2 Week, tell us about it by using the “Comments” area for this blog post. The comments will serve as a way to promote your events and share ideas and experiences with the rest of the P2 community.

To leave a comment, click on the word “Comments” (proceeded by a number or the word “No” indicating the number of comments currently associated with a post) or “leave a response” that appears at the bottom of this post after the list of categories the entry was posted to. This will take you to a form in which to type your comment. You must be logged in to WordPress (the blog publishing system used to produce the GLRPPR Blog) in order to leave a comment; if you have not commented on a post before, you’ll need to register (It’s free and easy–it just requires filling out an online form to establish a user name and password. You’ll need those to log in anytime you want to submit a comment.).

Michigan DEQ has a section on P2 Week on its web site, including a P2 Week planner and sample resolution, an environmental calendar, and P2 Week posters. The Indiana Partners for Pollution Prevention are hosting the 10th Annual Pollution Prevention Conference and Trade Show during P2 Week, and IDEM will present the Indiana Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence during this event. Check the GLRPPR Calendar for other events that are taking place during P2 Week, and if you know of others, share them in the “Comments” section!

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.

Making the Holiday Season Greener

December is almost here, which means that the winter holidays are once again upon us. In the spirit of the season, check out these resources to help make your holiday season a little greener.

P2 for the Holidays is an excellent compendium of resources that encourage celebrating the season while avoiding waste.’s Simplify the Holidays web site is also an excellent resource for making your holiday season greener and less hectic.

Brian Smith wrote “Recycling Christmas” for the Environmental News Service in December 2002. In it, he told the story of how his family decided to make the holidays simpler by giving “recycled” holiday gifts and avoiding the hectic shopping season.’s Family Crafts editor has compiled a nice list of instructions for making recycled ornaments out of everything from used lightbulbs to CDs. provides instructions for making ornaments out of old holiday cards.

BellaOnline offers suggestions for making earth-friendly gift wrap.

If you know of other resources, login and leave them in the comments.