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Make This Valentine’s Day Green

Today is February 14th, Valentine’s Day. The color most associated with Valentine’s Day is red, but this year perhaps you could infuse a different color, green. No, I’m not talking about money when I say green, instead I mean to come up with ways to celebrate this holiday of love by creating less waste, being more creative with your gifts, and saving some “green” (this time I meant money). Our good friends over at Seventh Generation, have compiled a list of 10 ways you can enjoy a greener holiday. Happy Valentine’s Day!

10 Simple, Sustainable Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day


When you boil it all down, Valentine’s Day is simply about being with the one you love. With that in mind, we invite you spare your budget and your sanity the effects of yet another shopping-driven holiday and enjoy these simpler, more sustainable ways to say, “I Love You.”

1. Create a memory As the song says, “It only takes a moment.” And experts agree that giving an experience, not a thing, makes us happier in the long run. Do a little advance scouting for a fantastic view — city lights, the sunset, the mountains in the distance – then take your valentine there. Bring along a little romantic snack, relax and just savor the moment together.

2. Eat in Valentine’s Day is one of the most notoriously difficult times to get a dinner reservation, which means every restaurant in town is overbooked and anxious to move your dinner along so the next romantic evening can begin. Skip the stress, set a beautiful table at home, and cook a meal together. You can relax, and spend the kind of time you’d never be able to enjoy anywhere else.

3. Create an edible greeting Skip the before and after waste that comes from greeting cards and “pen” your sentiments in icing on a cookie or a cupcake, then present it in person – no stamp required!

4. Share the love Before, after, or instead of celebrating as a couple, share a little love in places where people really need it. Bring Valentine’s Day treats to your local teen or homeless shelter, spend a little time in your local hospital’s children’s ward reading or doing simple crafts, or volunteer at your local animal shelter.

5. Watch a romantic comedy at home What’s more romantic – waiting in line to see the just-released romance in a crowded theater (during the height of flu season, no less) or curling up on the couch with a bottle of  eco-friendly wine some snacks and your significant other to watch a classic romance?

6. Make some music Not super tech savvy?  No worries. These days just about any type of music you want is just an online search away, which means you can create a romantic and highly personalized playlist with ease. You don’t even have to know how to burn the music to a CD – just share it directly online.

7. Say “I Love You” in another tongue There’s something about hearing someone tell you they love you in a different language that’s irresistible. This little exercise teaches you how to say, “I Love You” in fifty different languages. Practice together and see which languages speak to you!

8. Choose chocolate with care Valentine’s Day surely rivals Halloween as one of the most chocolate-laden holidays going. And let’s face it, chocolate is an easy, go-to gift that’s hard to resist. But before you grab for the nearest heart-shaped box full, think again. Cocoa farming is associated with some serious ethical and environmental problems. Choose fair-trade chocolate for a truly loving gift.

9. Put it into words A letter can say what no pre-written card can, and all you need is a piece of paper, a pen, and an envelope. Check in here for tips on saying what you feel.

10. Love yourself By choice or by chance, not everyone is in a relationship. For those of us going solo, Valentine’s Day can be unbearably annoying, or even depressing. You can ignore the day entirely, or you can devote some time to loving yourself! Treat yourself to a bouquet of organically grown flowers, indulge yourself with a spa treatment, a bit of fair-trade chocolate and the reminder that you don’t have to wait for someone else to make you feel loved.

Give The Gift Of A Clean Home This Mother’s Day

BLOG-MOTHERMother’s Day is this Sunday. This year, instead of giving your mother the typical gift of flowers or chocolate, why not give her a gift she can really benefit from. A house cleaning gift certificate from Clean Conscience is a great Mother’s Day gift idea!

While flowers are a nice gift, they’re often just put in a vase and somewhat forgotten about after a few days. Chocolates are also a popular gift idea (though not original), and are often times either eaten that day or forgotten about until they are thrown away.This Mother’s Day, give your mother a house cleaning gift certificate. It is an original, thoughtful gift which will actually help your mother out this year.

Most mother’s spend a good portion of their time cleaning up after their children, this Mother’s Day why not return the favor with a gift certificate from Clean Conscience. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

And a special Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, Sheila.

Green Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day is only one week away, do you have a creative, green gift for your special someone? No? Well there’s no need to worry!  Check out our last minute green Valentine’s Day gift ideas below.

1. Organic and Fair Trade Chocolates

Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates

Chocolate that is grown, produced and marketed in a way that isn’t harmful to the planet or the farmer.  Plus they taste great!

The Daily Green has a great list of 19 of the Best Organic and Fair Trade Chocolates.  Check it out.




2. A Potted House Plant

Peace Lily

It doesn’t get much greener than an actual plant.  Just to be safe, I wouldn’t get a potted plant as a replacement for roses, but it would go great in addition to some lovely organic roses (see below).

Don’t know what type of house plant to get?  Check out our post about house plants that actually clean your indoor air.




3. Organic Roses

There are lots of online flower retailers that now offer Eco-friendly and even USDA Organic certified roses and other ornamental flowers.  Organic Bouquet offers Veriflora certified organic roses that are perfect for Valentine’s Day.

You could also check with your local Denver or Boulder florist to see if they have any organic roses available.


4. (non-toxic) Scented candles to set the romantic mood

Medium Romance Gift Basket

Way Out Wax has an extensive line of hand made, all natural soy candles scented with non-toxic essential oils.  No harmful additives or dyes are used.

Check out their romance gift baskets, available in small, medium and large.



5. Clean the House

Everyone loves the gift of free time and everyone loves a nice clean home.  Why not offer to clean up the house this weekend and let your special someone kick their feet up and relax.  You could also buy a Clean Conscience gift card and give the gift of green cleaning and then spend the free time on a romantic picnic.  Contact us to purchase a gift card for Valentine’s Day (picnic not included with gift card…).

Happy Valentine's Day










Photo credit: Picinic - via Visit Finger Lakes on Flickr

Green Holiday Tips

Hectic Holiday Shopping

The holidays are quickly approaching and there is still much to do.  Take a moment from your hectic holiday planning and check out these simple, no-nonsense ways to green your holiday season.  These tips may even save you some time to sit back, relax and actually enjoy the season with your family and friends.

Gift wrap:

Here are some great ideas for gift wrapping alternatives.

  • Scarves, handkerchiefs or bandannas
  • Old posters and maps
  • Pages from a child’s coloring book taped together (this is especially nice for relatives who would enjoy the artwork)
  •  Old newspapers
  •  Last year’s holiday paper (press with warm iron if wrinkled)
  •  Wallpaper scraps
  •  Pictures or advertisements from magazines and catalogs (you probably shouldn’t use the Victoria’s Secret catalog)
  •  Sunday comic pages
  • Paper bags from the grocery store

Bows and ribbons:

  • Reusable items, such as hair bows, ornaments, shoe laces or toys
  • Stencils or pictures from holiday cards pasted onto a plain brown paper bag or box
  •  Last year’s holiday cards cut up for gift tags
  •  Old neckties

 Packing material alternatives:

  • Biodegradable starch packing peanuts (available at a lot of shipping stores and online)
  • Crumpled ads from the newspaper (The ink on glossy paper won’t smear as it does on the rest of the newspaper)

Gift ideas:

Instead of giving the usual gifts of plastic toys made in China or the latest and greatest electronic gadget; consider giving thoughtful gifts this year that are not resource-consuming. Some of the most favored and remembered gifts are those we can make ourselves.

  • Look for gifts that are unpackaged or minimally packaged, without unnecessary plastic wrap or cardboard backing.
  • Evaluate the gift for simplicity and durability.
  • Buy durable gifts with long-term warranties (cue Lexus commercial).
  • Know the store’s return policy and include tags or receipts for easier exchange or return.
  • Consider the impact of your gift: Is it environmentally friendly and safe for children? Will it be reusable? Is it recyclable or made from recycled materials?
  • Purchase holiday cards made from recycled paper or make your own from items found around the home.
  • Give an experience (for example, a hike in the mountains or a day trip on a train).
  • Give a garden! Seeds, gloves, tools, etc.
  • Create a family recipe book.

After the holidays

Sierra Club TV offers similar tips and some others we haven’t covered in the following video.

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Have other green holiday tips? Share them in the comments.

Happy Holidays from Clean Conscience!

Photo credit: Lars Plougmann - Flickr