Sunday, February 14, 2010

Superhero Secrets: Valentine's Day

Superhero Secrets from an Anti-Valentine's Day Greenmom

Anyone want to know when I had my first February 14 date? High school? College? Nope. What about the 12 or so years between college and meeting my husband? Uh uh.

My husband and I married on February 9; the first EVER Valentine's Day when I had anything like a date was during my honeymoon. (And what a date it was...) Every other February 14 of my existence was sort of an exercise in fighting the alleged scourge of singleness in a studiously coupled world. Which was sort of stupid, because there was a lot of really great stuff about being single that I missed in my moaning about not being part of a couple. (I mean, I love being married to my husband, and I wouldn't change for anything, but there's a lot you give up when you attach your life to someone else's that you just don't know to appreciate until it's gone.)

So, on principle, the greenest superhero secret I can possibly give regarding how to celebrate Valentine's Day in an eco-conscious manner, is this: ignore it! Skip it entirely! Live your whole life with all the chocolate and flowers and jewelry you choose, in healthy moderation--fair trade chocolate, of course, and organic flowers, and if you choose jewelry make sure the gold is eco-friendly and the diamonds are of the conflict-free variety--but don't wait for some arbitrary date to honor yourself or your loved one(s).

However, that's not much help for my monthly Superhero Secrets post, is it?

So here are some thoughts:

Green Living Tips has a pretty good basic site for anyone not acquainted with the simple ins and outs of things like conflict diamonds, fair trade chocolate, and so forth. It's the site I'd recommend to friends who are new to the whole greenage idea. This blog entry at also has some good info. So does this site, at Organic Consumers.

The Sierra Club has a good article about the "Secret Life of Cut Flowers" that everyone ought to read, and has a lot of information about what happens in the gold production process. (Where jewelry is concerned, honestly, I would probably be looking in antique stores and resale shops, rather than buying new anyway.) And Simply Gold Rings have some gorgeous items; I happened upon the link from the Chic Ecologist, and now I totally want one. (Even though I hardly ever wear rings.)

Global Exchange has a pretty good list of organic/free trade chocolate companies (coffee too!) which is something I've bookmarked for the future. GreenAmericaToday has another list... Divine Chocolate looks yummy too...but then, it's chocolate, how not? And if you really want to do it up, buy fair trade ingredients in bulk and make your own homemade liqueur-flavored truffles for your sweetie. Even if that sweetie is yourself.

And this has to be one of my favorites...this is a Valentine-timed campaign to raise awareness of endangered species that has got to be one of the most innovative and unexpected I've ever seen. Cracked me up.

So...that's what I've got. Doubtless dozens of other green bloggers are talking about the same thing this week; if you're one of them, drop a link in the comments and we'll come check it out!
--Jenn the Greenmom


Daisy said...

I'm so bugged about school Valentine's Day parties. They're so wasteful, not educational, and just not a good use of school time. Did I mention I teach? Elementary school? Even admitting I hate meaningless "holidays" puts me on the Nasty Grinch-Lady list for the neighborhood parents.
And that's not even getting started on the eco-waste the holiday generates.

Jenn the Greenmom said...

OH yeah, I didn't even touch on the kid aspect of the holiday, which are incredibly wasteful and sort of pointless. At least this year I had my kids do homemade valentines, which is a little better, but it's just so nuts!

Wendy said...

We've never celebrated Valentine's Day in the way most people think of celebrating Valentine's Day, and instead of exchanging something silly, we tapped our maple trees :).

Lisa Sharp said...

I'm happy to say I had a very eco-friendly v-day which I'm going to post about tomorrow.

I also hosted the APLS carnival on Greening Valentine's Day-

And on 5 Minutes For Going Green I wrote about fair trade chocolate-

Simply Authentic said...

LOVE IT! My husband and I don't really celebrate Hallmark holidays (but we do celebrate our religious holidays such as Xmas and Easter--although not as commercialized a version). Instead we do just as you say, we get little and big things for each other as our funding allows and as makes sense for the time. He bought me peppermint hot chocolate during the winter. We bought him a BBQ grill for the upcoming season since there was such a good sale and he's been waiting for months to get one. We look around at all the couples who feel they HAVE to purchase something due to a holiday....and feel very fortunate that neither one of us feels that same way. And when it comes to V Day....every day should focus on the good moments, the love that is there, etc....

Condo Blues said...

I like celebrating holidays. My husband and I took the opportunity to eat the most amazing grass fed beef at a restaurant we've been dying to try. You CAN celebrate Valentine's Day or any holiday for that matter and be green about it, if you put your mind to it. It doesn't have to be an all wasteful or nothing at all situation.

BTW - Hallmark didn't make up Valentine's Day. The Catholic Church did to honor St. Valentine.

Jenn the Greenmom said...

Lisa--CRINGE--I'm sorry, how did I miss the APLS carnival?? (Okay, I know how--in January, Valentine's Day was so absolutely not on my radar; I think it came onto my radar along about February 11.)

I'm so embarrassed--you have my deep apologies. A motherlode of good posts there...


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