Valentine’s Day is meant to spread love and devotion to those around you. So when you are choosing what to give your sweetie or loved one, think about the energy that was put into the product you buy. Purchasing something ethical, such as fair trade goods, will be made with love that you can pass on to your recipient. We enjoy buying ethically and are excited to choose Fair Trade for our Valentine’s Day needs. We have done a few gift guides for Fair Trade Valentine’s over the years, but this year we decided to choose our favorite Fair Trade V-Day gifts! Sending our fair love to you.

Sweet Earth Chocolates Heart Box

1) Sweet Earth Chocolates Heart Box: Who doesn’t love a good box of chocolates? We love Sweet Earth Chocolate’s Red or God Heart Box which are filled with 11 heart shaped chocolates. We prefer the Gold Box, filled with an assortment of vegan chocolates. All their sweets are Fair Trade and organic. Plus the traditional red and gold heart shaped box gives an old school feel to your Valentine’s Day. Also, you can’t beat the price, coming in around $22.50 for organic, fair trade, and gourmet chocolates.

 

Organic Style Crown Majesty Roses

2) Organic Style Crown Majesty Roses: Not usually a fan of pink, but this beautiful light pink rose bouquet is one of our favorites. Organic Style is a great eco and socially conscious flower company that we have used on many occasions. These beautiful, antique looking roses are Fair Trade and have high labor standards. On top of that, the flowers are EcoBlooms certified, certified sustainable, the vase is made from recycled glass, all packaging is recycled, and shipping is green using carbon offsets. All around this bouquet and many like it on Organic Style’s website is all around ethical!

Ten Thousand Villages Valentine Banner Card

3) Ten Thousand Villages Be Mine Banner: If you are looking to make a big statement this Valentine’s Day, consider Ten Thousand Villages Be Mine Banner Card. The card states “Be Mine, I’m Yours” on a handmade Fair Trade card from Bangladesh. The red and pink card is made from Water Hyacinth paper and comes with it’s own envelope. You could give it as a card or hang it as a banner to spice things up! Plus you can’t beat the price at $7.00!

 

Ten Thousand Villages Hearts Afloat Candles

4) Ten Thousand Villages Hearts Afloat Candles: Spice up your night with these lovely floating Fair Trade candles. These lovely candles are handmade in India and would really get the romantic vibe right in a bath for two or set the tone for dinner by floating in a centerpiece. They come in a nice box which states “Melt My Heart” so they are already gift wrapped for those on the go.  You can’t miss with these thoughtful and sweet Fair Trade candles.

 

World of Good Cupcake Set

5) World of Good Cupcake Set: If you want to show your cupcake just what you think of her, here is the perfect gift! The matching handmade and Fair Trade cupcake earrings and necklace are made in Mexico. This adorable set is perfect for any cupcake in your life including your daughter, friend, wife, girlfriend, or even mother. We love the simple and cutesy look of this set and would be proud to wear it ourselves.

 

Autonomie Project Fair Trade Jewelry Sale

6) Last But Not Least:  We couldn’t help but take the time to announce our own lovely Fair Trade Valentine’s Gifts at Autonomie.While some of our items are unconventional gifts such as red sneakers and flip flops, we do have beautiful Fair Trade Jewelry from our friends at Proxy Apparel.  And just because we love our customers so much, we have a Valentine’s Sale going now of up to 50% off and an additional 15% off when you purchase two pairs of sneakers.

Valentine’s Day is the day we use to express our love and devotion to our special someone. Unfortunately, the celebration of love has been dubbed a “Hallmark” holiday, thus resulting in plenty of waste. There are, of course, numerous ways to show your sweetheart how much you care, while being easy on the Earth. We have put together an ethical gift guide from the beginning of your date to the end and beyond!

1) The Pre-Date: When you show up on the doorstep of your love or meet them in a fancy restaurant, you want to be prepared with an “opening gift.” Traditionally, this includes flowers, cards, and chocolates. Luckily, there is a way to come prepared with all three and still be ethical. For flowers, look for Fair Trade roses and organic mixed bouquets. You can find these flowers at Whole Foods, local co-ops, and online at sites such as Organic Style. Chocolates also come Fair Trade, organic, and vegan. There are a lot of specialty ethical chocolates and truffles such as Sjaack’s, Equal Exchange, and  Coco-Zen. The most green way to give cards, is not to give them at all. But if you really want to write a love note to your special one, try making a card yourself out of recycled material or old photos, write a song, or send an e-card.

2) The Drinks: For most romantic evenings, wine and cocktails are a must. When you are choosing your wine this year, be sure to stick to organic wines. With the lack of sulfites, these wines will not only impress your green sweetie, but leave your head loving you in the morning. Organic wineries such as Frey, are carried at many natural foods stores, Whole Foods, and even at certain bars and restaurants. Etica is also the first Fair Trade wine and will also impress a socially conscious sweetheart. If cocktails are more your thing, there are now plenty of organic and Fair Trade spirits on the market. We have a great backlog of Organic and Fair Trade Cocktail Recipes.

3) The Food: If you are staying in for the night, make a great meal with organic and local food. You will also want to hold off on the meats. We also have a ton of vegan recipes for all courses of a meal. But not everyone stays in for the holiday and luckily eco-friendly and vegan restaurants are all the rage these days. Make sure you take your date to an ethical eatery. If you are looking for organic or eco-friendly try the Green Restaurant Guide and for vegan restaurants look to Happy Cow.

4) The Big Gift: Sometimes you want to pull all the stops out on Valentine’s Day. If you want to give a big gift, such as jewelry, you have plenty of eco options. For something cute and simple, check out these great recycled gift options on World of Good and fair trade jewels on Global Exchange. If you really want to do something BIG, go for eco-friendly diamonds or recycled gold necklaces.

5) The Bedroom: If all goes as planned, your night might end up with a Do Not Disturb sign hanging from your handle. For some eco-fun in the bedroom try giving your significant other some organic lingerie and undies. You will want to decorate with organic and soy candles. And in case things get a little more intense for the celebration you can find some fun toys at Earth Erotics. Oo la la…

6) The Weekend: It is possible that you want to give your guy or gal more than just a night of love to celebrate your relationship. How about taking them to an eco-friendly hotel or resort. For some listings, check out the Green Hotel Association. There are also really cute and quaint vegetarian and vegan bed & breakfasts throughout the country. Just be sure you get there through alternative transportation such as bike, rail, or bus!

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Grass is green
Valentine’s Day can be too

Ok, perhaps I am not a poet, but my pathetic attempt at rhyming has a point (of sorts) within its clichéd words. Valentine’s day is almost upon us, a glorious day in which people feel bullied into being unnaturally romantic for a twenty four hour period of time in the middle of February. Singles feel more acutely aware of their singleness and couples-even those who recognize the foolishness of this Hallmark holiday- feel the need to not disappoint their mate by ignoring this day altogether. Both singles and couples alike can agree that this holiday is decidedly unfriendly to the environment.

As with most of occurrences in life, I can not help but to relate it back to an episode of The Simpsons. Homer, Marge and their spiky hair offspring are shown celebrating “Love Day”, a holiday invented by a fictional store named Costigans to boost sales. When this “holiday” comes to a close, a huge pile of trash is compiled, its contents include an adorable teddy bear named Sir-Loves-A lot- the bear that loves to love.

To avoid your own mountain of love debris, try to take an environmentally friendly approach to Valentine’s Day this year. You can try to convince your mate that forgoing all presents is the most eco-friendly way to spend the holiday, but let’s face it- sleeping on the couch is not a fun prospect.

Greeting Cards: Greeting cards filled with sentimental jargon are without a doubt the least eco-friendly part of Valentine’s day. Instead of picking out a card this year with Snoopy on its cover with a poem resembling the masterpiece above inside, consider taking a greener approach to telling the one you love exactly how you feel. You can start by speaking  it to them. Telling someone how much they mean to you is not only romantic, but pretty darn eco-friendly. If you still need to see your feelings in print, send an e-mail greeting card. If you are feeling particularly crafty, consider assembling your own card from recycled goods from around your abode. If you are feeling cryptic- consider writing a message to your beloved on your steamed up bathroom mirror with your finger. You can tell her a ghost did it – nothing is as romantic as an good ol’-fashioned Valentine’s prank.

Chocolate: One of the most prevailing images associated with this holiday-besides the semi-naked baby wielding a bow and arrow- is the box of chocolates shaped like a heart. As romantic as heart-shaped cardboard is, the truth of the matter is that it is what’s inside the box that counts. Do not fret, you can still get your sweetie her delicious chocolates, just make sure they are Fair Trade and/or Organic. Check out companies such as Equal ExchangeDivine Chocolate, or Dagoba Chocolates for tasty and ethical treats. For more ideas on organic and Fair Trade chocolates, some more V-day inspired than others, check out this list by The Daily Green. Nothing says, “I love you, schnookums” like a tasty candy that is produced in the most conscientious manner possible.

Lingerie: A successful Valentine’s, more often than not, ends in the bedroom. Things can get a little PG-13 in there, so you may want to consider getting gussied up, eco-friendly style. Purchase adorable undergarments that are made from sustainable materials from companies such as Enamore. For more ideas of ethical unmentionables, take a look at this list! Then, crank up the Barry White and enjoy yourselves. (Warning: Barry White has been known to make the most pure among us slip our slacks off. Use with caution.)

Organic Wines: Sipping on a glass of wine is a key step in a successful romantic evening. If commercials for R & B  song collections have taught me anything, this wine should be drank by a roaring fire while gazing into your lover’s eyes. Being eco-friendly does not mean skipping out on this sensual tradition, simply get yourself a bottle of delicious organic wine.  Companies such as Frog’s Leap and Frey make their wine from organic grapes. Go the extra green mile and open this bottle of vino with this awesome bottle opener, which is made from recycled bike chains and pretty cool looking, to boot.

Jewelry:  If you can not resist giving your honey the gift of jewelry this Valentine’s Day, look for jewelry made from recycled goods. Pieces from companies like Upcycled Jewelry are  both lovely and unique- qualities perhaps shared with your sweetheart? You can use that line, free of charge, because compliments are the gift that keep on giving.

Flowers:  The presentation of a beautiful bouquet  is  not  only a way  for thoughtless sitcom husbands apologize to their nagging wives, it is also a way for real life couple’s to say, “Hey, you are pretty alright.” to their baby or muffin pie. Buying flowers locally that are in season, and whenever possible organic, is a way to double your romancing power-it is like amending your previous, “Hey, you are pretty alright” with a ,“and I think Mother Earth is pretty swell too.” Keeping mother earth happy is of utmost importance, for even if your relationship goes down in flames she will be there to catch your tears with  her soil. She is pretty considerate that way. But if you can’t purchase them locally or live in a wintery climate that doesn’t support blooms in February, consider sites like Organic Style to send flowers to your love.

Be Thoughtful: Romance is not about money spent, this Valentine’s day do something thoughtful for your better half. Even if it is something as simple as making them  a simple (hopefully organic) dinner or bringing them Fair Trade coffee in bed, it will show them that you appreciate and love them more than a dollar amount can express.

Have a happy Love Day….err, I mean, Valentine’s day, everyone.  We can all take a lesson from Sir-Loves-A lot and be sure that you love to love-meaning, whatever you do to celebrate, make sure it is not from a sense of duty but from a need to let your doodle bug how much they mean to you.

Try to do it the other 364 days a year too and you may just have yourself a lasting and happy relationship.

-Meghan Hurley & the AP Team

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