Every February candy, flowers, jewelry and gifts (hopefully green gifts) are exchanged by loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. Who was this Saint?
The popular legend says that he was a Roman priest. When the Emperor Claudius II decided that single men without wives and families made better soldiers, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the law, defied his emperor by continuing to perform marriages for lovers in secret.
When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered him put in prison and eventually sentenced to death, unknowingly creating a sympathetic, heroic and, most importantly, romantic figure. While in prison, Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. It is said that before his execution he sent her a letter which he signed: “From Your Valentine.” This is the source for the expression still in use today. By the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular Saints in Europe. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day became celebrated across all social classes in the seventeenth century. And by the eighteenth century it was common for friends and lovers to exchange handwritten notes and special tokens. By the end of the same century, as the technology developed, printed cards began to replace written notes.
Today this holiday is celebrated in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Mexico, France and the United States. According to the Greeting Card Association an estimated one billion cards ( many made with recycled paper or tree free paper) are sent for this holiday each year. Not only cards, but almost as many gifts as well. That is why it is so important to make them green gifts!
So, historically this has always been a day to celebrate BIG LOVE…which gives us the excuse we sometimes need to express our passion and appreciation for each other! But Wait!
While we’re at it… why not ALSO show love for the planet we live on? Green Gifts are the way to go!
Here is our list of 5 green gift ideas that are low impact on your budget as well as being “Green” choices:
· Chocolate is the preferred choice for most lovers… so this year, send organic fair trade chocolates for your green gift.
· Select only organically grown flowers – give them a gorgeous, eco-chic and thoughtful green gift that will remind them of this day and your love for years to come!
· If ‘Bling” is your thing, purchase Jewelry that is stunning AND ecologically responsible by choosing unique green gifts such as handmade pieces from artisan collectives that specialize in training & supporting women, their families and communities!
· Everyone loves spa treatments for their green gifts! Find organic, romantic spa products to indulge in at home or give a gift certificate for holistic spa treatments, like a couples massage!
From all of us at GGN:
Enjoy the Holiday and honor the legend by expressing your love for people and the planet by giving only green gifts this Valentine’s Day!