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 NatureMoms.com 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 NoDirtyGold.org 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