HeartValentine’s day is usually the time of year that we think about love, friendship and colors like pink and red. When you reach for chocolate this year, take a moment to pick an ethical brand.  According to an article in Grist, “For the world’s biggest chocolate makers — Hershey, Nestle, and Mars account for more than 35 percent of global chocolate production — practices like child slave labor, rainforest demolition, and heavy reliance on GMOs are just a part of doing business.”

It is not so simple as looking for organic or the fair trade label.  Grist recommends a visit to San Francisco-based Dandelion Chocolate.  To learn more, go here.  Being a green consumer isn’t always easy—check out this piece from Grist on why we judge people who do the right thing.

Other Valentine’s Day Gifts With the Planet in Mind

If you plan on purchasing something for the people you love, then you can also show a bit of extra love for the environment by carefully considering what you buy. Here are some great ideas to make this a fun and sustainable holiday:

  • Only buy cards made from recycled or tree-free paper.
  • Consider sending an e-card instead of a paper card.  The David Suzuki Foundation is offering e-cards that protect Monarch butterflies.
  • Or make your own card with recycled materials.
  • Buy flowers that are organic and/or locally grown. Or pick your own!
  • Make a donation to an environmental organization on behalf of the person.
  • Arrange dinner at a local restaurant specializing in organic or locally grown food.

If you or your employees are really excited about Valentine’s Day, consider creating a “Make Your Own Card” table. You can ask employees to bring in anything from home – paper, stickers, craft supplies, etc. Then designate a table where people can come and create their own unique, sustainable Valentine’s cards.

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