10 Green Ways to Have Fun on Valentine’s Day
1. Spread the handmade love. Why buy a single Valentine for one person when you can get bargain package deals on Etsy for all your lovers? At the Marmoset shop, get a pair ($4) -- or quartet ($8) -- of handmade Valentines crafted with upcycled and reclaimed paper to send to everyone you love -- in post-consumer recycled brown kraft envelopes, of course.
2. Have a crayon heart. Want little gifts to go with those cards? An instructables member who goes by Some Art Mama’s put up photo-illustrated, step-by-step instructions for turning old crayons into pretty little hearts. Collect old crayons and a few simple supplies -- and a little messy work later, and your homemade, eco-friendly, pretty-as-well-as-useful gifts will be ready.
3. Find love for your glove. Lost a glove? Find your widowed glove a mate by sending it in to Glove Love, a cute little initiative by a green website called Do The Green Thing that pairs up single gloves with sorta-matching partners. Jasmin Chua at Ecouterre calls it a "matchmaking service for lovelorn mitts." You can also buy a pair of pre-loved, mix-and-matched Glove Love gloves for £5.
The bad news: As you may have guessed from the "£," Glove Love's in the U.K. A closer-to-home green glove idea's to plan a Valentine's Day clothing swap -- that includes lonely accessories like single earrings and gloves, or if you're bold, shoes -- to mix-and-match or upcycle orphaned accessories.
4. Get green bling. Have too much room in your jewelry box after upcycling the earrings sans partners? Keep your shopping eco-friendly by opting for recycled and ethically-sourced jewelry. I love my Peace Love Earth recycled sterling silver necklace from Annatarian (right, $60), and have my eye on a recycled Silver Butterfly Pendant from Brilliant Earth ($50). Of course, buying pre-loved jewelry is an even greener option -- so don't forget about my guide to pre-loved shopping in Santa Monica!
5. Give with chocolate. Yes, that "with" is supposed to be there, because why would you give chocolate to others when you can eat the perfectly delicious stuff yourself? Okay -- Nicobella's organic fair trade vegan dark chocolate truffles come in a pack of six, so sharing does actually come easy -- but purchase a $27 duet pack of these and $2 will be donated to help the victims of Haiti through the Happy Hearts Fund, thus letting give with your chocolate while eating it too.
Get the pack by emailing email@example.com or calling 609.792.5231. Fair trade chocolate, by the way, also gives chocolate producers a fairer share of the profits from the money you spent on the delectable desserts. Didn't plan ahead and need chocolate NOW? Whole Foods carries lots of fair trade chocolates, and even RiteAid and other conventional stores will offer some fair trade options, now that Green & Blacks has announced it'll switch to to using only fair trade ingredients by the end of the year.
6. Write a love poem. The Valentine Peace Project collects poems about peace and love, written by individuals who want to share peace and love. Anyone can write a poem to contribute to the project, whether online or in their neighborhoods. If your lucky, your neighborhood may be one of the spots holding a Valentine Peace Project event; check the news page to see if a party's happening near you.
7. Find your love for wheels. Two wheels, that is. Singular, a magazine for happily single people, is organizing a Valentine's Day Beginner's Mountain Bike Ride in the L.A. area. Bike 5-6 miles through the Sullivan Canyon in Brentwood on Valentine's Day from 10 am to 1 pm. Don't live in the L.A. area? Singular magazine makes a great Valentine's Day gift for happily single people everywhere.
8. Make art for the environment's sake. Clear your Saturday night for Lucent L'Amour, an annual "visionary lovefest" with art exhibits, bands, and other live performances happening this year at the Shrine in Los Angeles. In the midst of all the entertainment will be Lighting in a Paintcan, when 20 live painters will create art pieces with used and recycled paint. A silent auction during the event lets attendees bid on the pieces -- with the proceeds going to buy art and music supplies for local underfunded schools. Support eco-art and a future generation of local musicians and artists too, while enjoying the lovely spectacle.
9. Lust after free fair trade yummies. WorldofGood.com's giving away 15 fair trade gift baskets -- worth $98 each -- filled with a handmade bear, chocolates, cocoa, and candles. To win, all you have to do is reveal who you're going to give the gift basket to and why in 75 words or less.
Winners will be judged on a "variety of factors including, but not limited to, originality, humor, sincerity and/or desperation" -- Tamera at TFUSA says "You can even give it to yourself; it’s ok, WorldofGood.com won’t tell (unless you win.)" Enter by Feb. 7 -- and even if you don't win, you'll get a coupon for $10 off a $25 purchase of fair trade goodies from WorldofGood.com.
10. Get a tree to hug you -- or at least send you little love notes. hunt for leaves. Leslie at The Oko Box blogged about this leafy message, which makes me want to go for a morning hike when it's still dewy out -- except that would require getting up really early. But a hike on Valentine's weekend sounds lovely; take your smart phone with you so you can identify the trees in your 'hod with Arbor Day's What Tree is That? mobile app.
BlogHer Contributing Editor Siel also blogs at greenLAgirl.com.
Photos via marmoset/Etsy, Do the Green Thing, Nicobella, Singular, WorldofGood.com