fair trading your valentine’s day

It seems we’ve barely recovered from Christmas. January is almost a blur. And Valentine’s Day is on the horizon. I realize that not everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day with flowers, chocolates, etc. As my husband said I’m aiming to “…ruin everything for everyone,” or as I see it, help increase awareness of alternatives to the “norm”

Americans will buy more than 189 million stems of roses this Valentine’s Day, the majority of which will travel all the way from Ecuador and Colombia before they’re sold to shops all over the world.

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The “norm” for flowers usually means buying roses that were likely picked by a poor woman in Ecuador who will work 7 days straight with no overtime or break, while wheezing from the asthma she has contracted from breathing greenhouse gases and pesticides. Oh? and don’t forget those enslaved children [with machetes] who have harvested the cocoa beans to make the chocolate. Alas, I hope you know well enough by now that I wouldn’t talk a bunch of smack without also offering some hopeful and helpful alternatives. Beautiful, responsibly sourced flowers are now easier to find than ever! In fact, they’re now available at Whole Foods Markets nationwide. (You can also pick up more than a few different options of fair trade, organic, and/or equal exchange chocolate while you’re there.)  If you don’t happen to have Whole Foods in your neck of the woods, you will also likely find them through 1800flowers.com I was able to  find Fair Trade Certified roses at various Giant Food Stores locations and at (What the What?? The wonders never cease.) Samsclub.com!

I guess I’ve been married for too long or perhaps it’s the whole single income thing, but I was floored to see this next bit:

In 2011 it was projected Americans spent $3.4 billion on dinners, $3.5 billion on jewelry, $1.1 billion for cards and $1.7 billion for flowers, according to market research done by BIGresearch, sponsored by the National Retail Federation.

$3.5B on jewelry? That’s craziness. If you subscribe to the consumeristic approach to celebrate the day, I’ve put together some ideas and a pretty thorough pinterest board with lots of ideas for being conscientious in your spending.

For Her: I used to subscribe to the old party line that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. I’m not so sure about that any more, but if you like it and you wanna “put a ring on it,” Brilliant Earth allows you to design your own diamond jewelry and ensures that you only purchase conflict-free diamonds, which means the diamonds were mined legally and no person or resource was exploited during the process. Plus, Brilliant Earth donates 5 percent of their profits to help sustain African communities.

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I see this and hear that song from Ferris Beuller “Ohyeah … bowbow … chicka-chickaaahh … mmmmm, bowbow …” Just me?

For Him: Check out this cruelty-free (which means it’s from animals who naturally deceased) leather iPad case.

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For the kids:

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Each box includes:

  • 24 Valentine’s Day Cards
  • 24 fairly traded organic chocolate minis

For just less than $8 you have your kid’s class checked off the list.

 

One thing is for certain and that’s this: no one who shops gifts for me can say they don’t know what I like or want! 🙂 And here you can check out my pinterest board for fair trading your valentine. You should probably order soon to ensure items arrive in time for Valentine’s!

http://pinterest.com/bmen10299/fair-trade-that-valentine/

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