February 5th, 2013 | By Alicia Silverstone
Right now, Christopher and I have no Valentine’s Day plans. We’re not really big gift-givers. Every year for Christmas, Christopher gets me the Zagat Guide and I’ve been totally nerding out over it. And I get him some Dr. Brommers Peppermint body soap because he loves it. For your male friends, it might be a nice idea. He swears by the tingly peppermint deal… it’s a guy thing I think. I might do that for Valentine’s Day too. Or maybe some of this great body wash from John Masters.
For those of you who are exchanging gifts with your loved ones for Valentine’s Day, here are some ideas for making your gift choices kind:
This photo is from my local farmer’s market and they grow all of the flowers just down the street. So pretty!
If you can, buy organic flowers from the farmer’s market. Local, organic flowers are the healthiest choice for your body and an important ethical choice to support the health of your bigger home and other humans. Regular flowers are laden with tons of chemicals (insecticides, fungicides, growth regulators) to achieve perfect flower status. No, you won’t be eating them, but they will be in your home. Plus, if they’re shipped by plane from overseas (which about 70% of flowers in the U.S. are), think about that giant carbon footprint! And, when you shop local, you’re supporting local businesses, which I love! You get the idea… try for local, organic flowers when possible.
With people becoming more aware of the negative effects of dairy, vegan chocolatiers are popping up everywhere! Here are some really good ones. Most have sugar and some sugar is better than others, but it all gives me a headache… but it’s soooo delicious as a rare treat!
Endangered Species Chocolate Vegan Collection: You can find these in many local natural food stores. Check out their Valentine’s Day collections are here.
Lagusta’s Luscious: They have some cute seasonal goodies
NibMor: organic with no refined sugar
Allison’s Gourmet: The strawberry bark is so nice for Valentine’s Day. Find all of their Valentine’s Day goodies here
Rescue Chocolates: 100% of the profits are donated to animal rescue organizations
Black and Blanco: These are cookies, but I had to include them. They’re all good but the marzipan one and the chocolate are yum!!
Chocolate Inspirations: Make sugar to get their vegan treats because they do make veg and non-veg ones. But, insane! They have some cool and crazy flavors like Cinnamon Toast Toffee. Yum! Seriously amazing chocolate!
Amore di Mona: the chocolate-covered caramel is insane!!!! The caramel (made with agave) with fruit is nice too—they have cherry and cranberry.
Conscious Chocolate is raw cacao 60% and is the best raw chocolate I’ve ever had. It’s creamy and soft and delicious!!!!
ChocAlive: They’re so good, I wrote a whole blog about them here. The truffles are raw, vegan, gluten-free and organic. My favorite is the Pistachio flavor.
Cocoa Camino: This is a fair trade chocolate and my favorite is the mint dark chocolate. It’s delicious!
Nicobella truffles: These are all vegan, organic, dark chocolate truffles. The yummiest truffle flavor from Nicobella is the Walnut Flaxseed Crunch…but they are allllllll delicious. Check out their Valentine’s Day boxes.
Sweet and Sara: My favorites are the chocolate Biscotti and cinnamon hazelnut biscotti.
Vegan Divas: Their brownie is so good… really moist.
Alter Eco: It’s organic and fair trade. Their Dark Quinoa Chocolate crunch is so yum! It has a good, nice crunch.
TCHO: All of their chocolate is packaged really nice and everything is fair trade. Their PureNotes Dark “Fruity” 68% is very smooth and gourmet. Yum!
Pure Sweet: This is also packaged really nice and the woman who owns it is such a sweet lady. My favorites are the dark chocolate sables, “the Dingo” almond butter cookie, “the Frog” pistachio espresso cookie, “The Cuckoo” peanut butter cookie, the macaroon, “The Bat” which is chocolate with cayenne!
And of course, you can also make your own dessert! Try the Coffee Fudge Brownies from my book (p. 181) or make the Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies (p. 187) and cut them into heart shapes before baking.
Vintage and upcycled jewelry is very nice looking…and happens to be very much in style. And that’s wonderful because it’s also eco-friendly. Here are some great resources for finding a unique and special something for your special someone:
Tumbleweed Bead Co. makes all their jewelry from recycled materials and natural stones
Nola Singer makes jewelry out of vintage pieces she finds all over the world.
Alex and Ani creates American-made jewelry with a positive message from recycled materials. Really cool looking!
Chime makes jewelry from used drum cymbals
There are a ton of great local vendors on places like Etsy selling recycled goodies, including some Kind Lifers!
Kind Lifer Lori sells her handcrafted jewelry at Lofted Designs.
Kind Lifer Tamara makes eco-friendly jewelry using fair trade gems and recycled materials at McFarland Designs
Kind Lifer Rachelle sent me a sweet herbivore pendant from her jewelry store Zoe + Piper. They donate a portion of their proceeds to animal sanctuaries. Thank you, Rachelle!
Peach Tree Designs has sweet upcycled and nature-inspired jewelry.
Romantiquarian Design has great upcycled vintage pieces.
Alexandra Keller repurposes antique and vintage pieces into cool new ones.
There are so many more on Etsy.com. If you have an Etsy shop, or have a favorite place to buy eco-friendly jewelry, leave the link in the comments so I can check it out.
Designers are now making some great cruelty-free and organic lingerie. Embodies makes organic cotton nighties and if you’re looking for something sassier, Purrfect Pineapples is another cruelty free options (from left to right in the photo above)Stella McCartney launched a lingerie line last year. They use recycled metal hardware and organic cotton gussets and none of her products are tested on animals and she uses no animal skins or furs or glues!
Of course, one of the best things is to make a nice meal together. Make a dish with your loved one’s favorite foods. Maybe try mixing in one of these vegan aphrodisiacs? And try a yummy dessert from The Kind Diet. You can even give some treats from The Kind Diet as gifts.
Another really sweet thing is to make a card. Here are some great ideas for making a handmade card.
Here are a few more of my favorite gift ideas.
What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Do you keep your gifts eco-friendly?
Share your suggestions for the rest of the Kind Lifers in the comments.