Have you thought about what you’re getting your sweetheart for Valentines’ Day, coming up at the end of this week? Since it seems like every year, they come out with a new survey showing that the overwhelming majority of us wait until the actual Valentines’ Day to get a love token for our beloved, we assume that there is still time for you to consider a green Valentines’ Day gift.
Chocolates and other candies are a very popular gift. This year, there are environmentally friendly, sustainable chocolates, if that’s what you’re offering to impress your sweetheart.
Here’s what you want to consider:
Choose “fair trade-certified.” This means that the farmers who grew the cacao beans earned a fair wage, their workers were treated well, and some profits go back into the community. Check out http://www.transfairusa.org/
Look for boxes that are made with recycled paper. To be honest, sometimes these boxes are handmade and very beautiful and unique. Try to avoid plastic inserts or coating as well. They aren’t “sweet” on the environment.
Choose chocolates made from local ingredients. Not perhaps the chocolate itself. The cacao beans are generally grown in Central and South America. But the ingredients in the fillings, like dairy products, fruits, and nuts can all be locally sourced. That saves on fuel and supports local farmers.
And you can always look around for a local chocolatier. There are many small boutique chocolate makers (think “Mom” in a flowery apron) springing up all over the country. Buying local is always greener than buying big name or imported items. And maybe your sweetheart, like some of us, is more impressed by a heart that beats for green than a heart that beats for overseas and often overpriced imported chocolates.