Love

Valentine’s Day is all about the sentimental gifts that bring couples closer together. On the opposite spectrum, the day can remind you why being single deserves a celebration as well. The following eco-friendly Valentine’s Day gifts show you what love can do not only for you and your partner, but also the world. From flowers to lingerie, make this Valentine’s Day one to remember.

1. Send an E-Card

Rather than sending a paper card, send your loved one an environmentally-friendly E-valentine. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is devoted to saving wildlife and wild places, so support a cause and give the message of love by purchasing a $10 E-Valentine. Or, you can do it free at friends of the earth!

2. Plant a Tree, Save the World

You may not be ready to have kids just yet, but why not plant a seed in a different way. Opt to have the NRDC plant a tree in Costa Rica in honor of your valentine. You will you receive a personalized E-valentine with each $10 tree you plant. Not only do you contribute to a better environment but also you give a symbolic token of your growing love.

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3. Hand over Flowers that are in Season

Keep it authentic this valentine’s day by gifting flowers that are in season. This ensures that whatever you give is more genuine and full of seasonal character. Before heading to the florist, do your research and find out what else there is in February to offer besides roses.

4. Cook a Sustainable Meal

Save the gas mileage and cook a meal at home with ingredients you can recognize and add-ins you have complete control over. This will not only make for a sentimental gesture but also personalize the infamous Valentine’s Day dinner date, making it ever the more romantic and meaningful.

5. Do it Green

Take the eco-excitement to the bedroom. Whether you’re spending February 14th with a lover or alone, check out Earth Erotics for toys to spice up your love life or lone nights. And consider an ethical condom as well. Glyde condoms are a free-trade and cruelty-free form of contraception.

6. Adopt an Animal

Sure, you could bring home a puppy from the shelter, but if you or your spouse isn’t ready for the responsibility of taking care of an animal, consider sponsoring one! Make donations as often as monthly and as seldom as yearly to the Farm Sanctuary and get mailed a sponsorship package that includes an adoption certificate, a photo of your adopted animal and details on how to meet him or her.

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7. Dress the Part

If your Valentine’s Day ends in a birthday suit, make sure it’s an eco-friendly one. The Daily Green has collected a hefty list of designers who have created lines of green lingerie.

8. Gift Raw Chocolate

Raw chocolate is essentially chocolate that has not been nearly as processed as the common stuff, and uses far less energy in its production than regular chocolate. Most producers take the ingredients list quite seriously, avoiding white sugar and instead opting for more waistline-friendly alternatives, such as agave, maple or coconut sugar. Many companies also keep the ingredients entirely organic and free-trade. Raw chocolate is also more nutritious, with  higher antioxidant level than regular chocolate and is also touted to be a natural aphrodisiac. This Valentine’s Day, avoid mainstream chocolate boxes and gift chocolate with more bang for the buck. Some great brands include Gnosis Chocolate, Fine & Raw, and Lulu’s Chocolate

Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography, Selivanoff, Llyn Hunter, Parvin, Corey Ann