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Environment

5 ways to be ethical and sustainable this Valentine’s Day

Flickr: RayMorris1

Valentine’s Day gifts are a last minute kind of thing. Like a morning of thing. A saying you’re getting some fresh air, only to sprint to the closest convenient store for a card thing.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can take a few moments to plan a gift. You can avoid stress. And you can feel even better about yourself by helping the planet and humanity in the process.

Here are some easy gifts that are both ethical and sustainable and will demonstrate just how much you love whoever it is you love:

Independent Valentine’s Day cards

You need a card. If you’re artistic, make your own. If you’re not, then buy from an independent designer to support small businesses and entrepreneurs. You’ll be getting an original design that will be less corny and more clever than typical cards.

You can browse online or head to a local bookstore, coffee shop or small business grocery store.

Fair Trade Chocolate

This is just the starting point of your gift. Chocolate is an essential part of almost any Valentine’s Day. Instead of those mass-produced, cliche heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, get a Fair Trade bar. Not only will it be made with the best ingredients by people who are treated like human beings, but it will also have cooler, more artistic packaging.

You can find Fair Trade chocolate in most grocery stores--just look for the label.

A photo posted by nachu (@95.28_) on

Fair Trade flowers

The Fair Trade certificate isn’t usually associated with flowers, but, like chocolate and coffee, flower production is often the site of worker exploitation and unsustainable farming practices.

So make sure your flowers this year are plucked by happy and healthy hands out of healthy soil. Go here for suppliers.

Eat a meal, share a meal

You might be cooking a special meal on this romantic evening (If so, try to be vegan). If you can’t cook or just want to eat out, then share the goodness of your meal with those less fortunate through this cool FoodShare app. If you sign up beforehand and go to one of the FoodShare-designated restaurants, then you’ll be providing a meal to a family in need.

If you don’t live anywhere near FoodShare places, then check out this World Food Program ShareTheMeal app to deliver some food to refugees around the world. You can also just donate directly to a local food bank or soup kitchen.  

Global Citizen gear

Lastly, check out the Global Citizen merch store and share your love of advocating for a world without poverty!


Even though Valentine’s Day is a few days away, you still have plenty of time to get your “significant other” a great gift that also happens to be ethical and sustainable. Loving and being a good global citizen is the best way to celebrate.