Posts tagged Valentine’s Day

Greening up Valentine’s Day (Part 2)

Valentine’s Day is a week away! Here are some more eco-friendly Valentine ideas!

A bouquet of a dozen roses is a traditional gift on Valentine’s Day. But many floral industries grow their flowers unsustainably and dump buckets of pesticides into the environment.

http://www.localharvest.org/ is a very useful website where you can find local farms that grown organic flowers. Or, if you still want to purchase a bouquet of flowers, look for the Veriflora tag. Flowers with this label must follow strict standards for environmental sustainability. 

Another unique idea is to give a plant or flower you planted and raised yourself, like these baby pine trees my sisters planted last year.

When it comes time to actually give the gift, why spend $4 on a gift bag when you can make one yourself from a cereal box?

Remember Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle? Recently, it’s the last “R” that has gotten the most attention. Of course this is a good thing. But just recycling isn’t enough. Recycling requires a substantial amount of energy. Some materials, including plastic and glass, take more energy to recycle than to manufacture.

Therefore, it is important to reduce our use of a material (decreasing the initial amount of material that needs to be manufactured) and also to reuse materials (unlike recycling, this does not require energy, except maybe human energy and creativity)

These gift bags are very easy to make and perfect way to reuse a lot of materials lying around the house.

First, cut the flaps off the cereal box. Then  paint the box a desired color or cover it with recycled paper. I used paper from printing mess-ups. Decorate the box with old colored paper and magazines. Punch a hole at the top of each side of the cereal box. Finally, attach a ribbon to the holes to make a handle.

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Greening up Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is coming up, which means chocolates, roses, cards and a lot of pink. But why not make Valentine’s Day a little bit more green as well? In the next couple posts I will be providing ideas for a traditional Valentine’s Day with an environmental twist.

First idea: homemade chocolates

Skip the store-bought candies to cut down on packaging and artificial ingredients. Plus, in my opinion, homemade treats are so much sweeter.

Here is a simple recipe for truffles.

Ingredients

3 (1 ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate (I used 72% dark chocolate, you can also use organic chocolate if you would like)

1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

1/3 cup butter or vegan butter

3 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla

Ground nuts, sprinkles, or other favorite coating

Directions

Melt 3 chocolate squares in microwave.

Cream sugar and butter in mixing bowl. Add egg yolks one at a time; blend well after each addition. Stir in melted chocolate squares and vanilla. Chill mixture in refrigerator until firm enough to handle easily. Break off small pieces to form into 1/2 inch balls. Roll in a favorite coating. Allow finished truffles to dry and firm on baking sheet about an hour before storing in airtight container in very cool place.

These truffles keep about a week.

When giving these truffles as gifts, you can put them in one of those glass jars lying around in your kitchen. For a pretty pattern, you can alternate between a layer of truffles and a layer of marshmallows. Tie a ribbon around the jar for a finishing touch.

More green Valentine’s Day ideas coming soon!

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