Chocolates are fattening and the flower industry is often horribly destructive to the environment, so your special eco-friend is unlikely to be impressed with these last minute valentine gifts. (Unless of course you care to make Miriam’s carob balls, which will convert even the most committed Nestle addict.) This year for Valentine’s day, why not surprise your girlfriend by planning ahead? Here are a few creative and perhaps unconventional ideas.
What women want has plagued men since they stopped pummeling them over the head with clubs. It wouldn’t be fair to generalize, but many emancipated women today – who have more going on than what shade of polish to use on their toenails – often want to be valued for their minds. To show that you appreciate your loved one’s beautiful eco-mind, why not surprise her with a copy of an environmentally-themed book.
You could try:
Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas L. Friedman, a good starter book that covers many of the most important environmental themes that every informed citizen should be aware of. Or, if your girlfriend is already super savvy and wants to take the next step, perhaps try A Good Life by Leo Hickman, a guide to living ethically. There are literally hundreds of new books on the shelf, but for serious environmentalists, used books are by far the better option. Also, be sure to check up on your partner’s wish list so you don’t give her something she has already read.
2: DIY Project
I’m going to take a lot of heat for this, but I would swoon over dead if my (future) partner brought home a recycled, do-it-yourself project that we could do together. Maybe a groovy new coffee table made out of recycled materials, or some kind of upcycled arts project – like something that might come out of Junktion Studio perhaps.
Not only will this inspire quality time together, but joint creativity often brings the best out of couples. Of course, if your girlfriend is not artistically inclined and would only get frustrated by her inability to do the project, skip to idea number three.
She may not be so skilled in the DIY or arts department, but that doesn’t mean you can’t melt her heart with a carefully-selected piece from Etsy.
Everything is handmade and supports every day people who have infused their creations with love and patience. You can find jewelry, wool products such as Paula Leven’s bags, and all kinds of art. Be sure to familiarize yourself with her style, don’t get anything too off-the-wall – since art selections are often deeply personal; and if you do go a little wrong, she will nonetheless treasure this thoughtful gift for life.
4: An Outing
If, like me, your sweetheart enjoys the outdoors, you can’t go wrong by planning an outing. Something different. Depending on where you live, you might decide to go on a bike ride along the Mediterranean, or in wine country.
Or bundling up in something warm and going for a long, refreshing hike that will not only reinvigorate your body, but will catapult you out of the hustle and bustle of fast life that can often drain your love. Just taking the time to plan something special will let her know how valuable she is to you.
Maybe both you and your partner are so busy that you don’t have time to take out the whole day to do something, or maybe you have been married for a long time and have babies such that merely getting out of the house for a meal would be an amazing treat.
In that case, why not take your eco-conscious loved one out for a delicious vegetarian meal.
On the other hand, if you are a typically urban couple and eat out all the time, surprise your sweetie with a home-cooked meal. Miriam always has tons of recipe ideas, starting with Baba Ghanoush, which – coupled with a glass of organic wine – should end on a very satisfying note!
More valentine ideas from Green Prophet: