EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM. WE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.
GREEN TIP: Surprise your Valentine with an experience, handmade gift or card, fair trade chocolate, PVC-free gift certificate or organic flowers this Valentine’s Day. Show your love (or like) this year with a gift that says you care about the long-term impact of your actions.
Too often we buy things just to buy things on “holidays” like Valentine’s Day. If you feel like giving your sweetie something meaningful this year, I have some suggestions:
- Any busy person would appreciate a handmade certificate for a homemade dinner, doing laundry for a week (hint, hint) or any other task you know would be a delight to have done by someone else.
- Dinner and a movie. Either take your sweetie out or have a theme dinner and a movie at home. Dinner at Mezzaluna in Fargo would be an excellent local selection. For more information and menu offerings, visit http://dinemezzaluna.com/.
- Plan a trip to an art gallery or museum. Some local options: Plains Art Museum in Fargo, for more information visit http://plainsart.org/ and the Rourke Art Museum in Moorhead, for more information visit http://www.therourke.org/.
- Get creative. You know your loved one better than anyone so really make the day special.
Some local experiences to consider:
The Fourth Annual Unglued Craft Fest is coming up on February 21st and 22nd, 2014. Getting tickets for Friday’s Gala event would be a wonderful gift for your crafty, artistic Valentine (hint, hint). For more information, visit http://www.ungluedmarket.com/.
A membership to the Prairie Roots Food Cooperative is a gift that lasts a lifetime. With very affordable membership options, this would be a perfect gift for your sustainable Valentine. For more information, visit http://prairie-roots.coop/.
- A gift certificate for an experience like a trip to a local spa or restaurant. Most local (non-chain) stores and restaurant still use paper gift certificates instead of plastic cards made from PVC.
The folks at GiftZip.com have a wonderful tip. The next time you’re purchasing a gift card go for the electronic (and paperless) option, an eGift card. Each year, 75 million pounds of PVC is dumped into landfills from plastic gift card waste (Plenty Magazine). That’s an astronomical amount of waste for something that can easily and conveniently be sent virtually. We’ve talked about PVC before. PVC is notoriously difficult to recycle and cannot be tossed into the recycling bin along side your other household items. You must send those pesky plastic cards to a PVC recycling plant, the only one I know of is EarthWorks. For a directory of retailers that offer an eGift card, go to GiftZip.com.
If you’re buying your Valentine some chocolates, make sure they are fairly traded and organic. This way you can be certain you are supporting sustainable agriculture and worker health and rights and, at the same time, giving your Valentine a eco-sweet treat.
Organic flowers, organic chocolate and even organic baked goods. Thanks to my friend Melissa Hincha-Ownby, I discovered OrganicBouquet.com.
Organic Bouquet offers sustainably grown flowers fresh from their partner farms. They promote and live up to the highest social and environmental standards—developing the most eco-friendly floral packaging, initiating the industry’s first carbon offset program, and growing their flowers in a way that is gentle on the earth and that safeguards the ecology and the well-being of wildlife and farm workers.
Do you have any other ideas for greening someone’s Valentine’s Day?
My Green Side’s weekly web pick:
TheDailyGreen.com is a consumer’s guide to green living. The site is packed with daily news, tips, recipes, features and more. In 2011, TheDailyGreen.com joined forces with Good Housekeeping.