"My Eco-Valentine" - Written By Sarah Outlaw (Co-Owner of 90210 Organics) For Natural Life 101.com
By Sarah Outlaw
February 14th is the day of love, but it is a holiday that the eco-conscious love to hate. Chocolate, flowers, cards and jewelry are gifts that if not chosen properly can leave a very unlovely imprint on the environment. Here are some sweet tips for an eco-friendly Valentine's Day that will make everyone smile.
Cacao beans grow overseas and much of the chocolate we eat is produced by farms. Some of these farms use child labor, low wages and grow their cacao in a manner that uses pesticides. Organically grown, Fair-Trade chocolate is free of pesticides and grown in the rainforests as opposed to crowded farms. The workers used to cultivate the crops are treated ethically and are not exposed to harmful toxins. Growing chocolate in its native environment ensures the best quality and preserves the integrity of its surroundings. Companies like Endangered Species Chocolate and Dagoba are wonderful alternatives to conventional chocolate companies.
You already know that conventionally grown flowers are treated with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Many flowers are also imported when there are perfectly good flowers local to wherever you live. Farmer's markets often carry fresh, local and either organic or 'no sprays used' flowers that are absolutely gorgeous. You can expect to pay much less for flowers from a farmer's market than at a florist. Stores like Whole Foods and Wild Oats also carry organic flowers as well as online florists like OrganicBouquet.com
The greeting card industry's biggest money maker is Valentine's Day. Consider how many trees are destroyed for the sake of a sentiment. There are options for wiser choices. Either buy the card with the plan to recycle it into something else like scrapbook pages or opt for cards made from recycled paper to begin with.
While diamonds may be a girl's best friend, that girl must not be very eco-conscious. Thanks to movies like Blood Diamond, the horrific plight of conflict diamonds and the diamond industry itself has been brought to light. You have better options by choosing 'green diamonds' that are fair trade and ethically mined.
Gold production is about as opposite of eco-friendly that it gets. The production on one gold ring leave 20 tons of mine-waste behind. Gold and silver mining pollutes waterways with mercury and cyanide. Mining also destroys natural wildlife habitats. Ethical Metalsmiths is a group that holds mining companies and the jewelry industry accountable.
It takes a little extra effort to have an eco-friendly V-Day, but just being aware of where your Valentine's Day gifts come from and how they are made can make all the difference in the world.
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