So you forgot that it’s Valentine’s Day – again? Solve the problem in your morning shower (like this clever Romeo), or scan Green Prophet’s last-minute ideas from seven stellar and sustainable gift programs. Use your laptop or smart phone to make a fast online donation or buy in the name of your beloved. Save the planet and your relationship in one grand gesture.
1. Declare your earthly love – The Climate Coalition, the UK’s largest group of eco-activists, asks everyone to send photos of things they love and fear losing – due to climate change. Their #ShowTheLove campaign aims to show world leaders how we all feel about global warming. Their website features a short film to watch with your sweetie, and green hearts to print out and share. Link here.
2. Skip the roses and proffer a house plant – Houseplants act as air purifiers, naturally pulling toxins from the air around us. They cut air humidity too, which could reduce your need for air conditioning during the hot summer months. Studies by NASA scientists show that 16 houseplants (sized to fit in 8-inch diameter pots) will improve air quality in an 1,800 square foot house.
3. Don’t just be someone’s honey – help others make it, sustainably – Donate some bees (or rabbits, or goats) via Heifer International and help families turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity. Heifer helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. Your donation purchases animals that contribute to sustainable agriculture in impoverished communities, generating food and reliable income with products such as milk, eggs and honey that can be traded or sold at local markets. Link here.
4. Spread the love – Women for Women began more than 20 years ago to help women facing violence and poverty as a result of war and conflict. Today they work directly with women in Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan – and many other nations – training women in year-long programs to learn critical skills and access new resources. Link here.
5. Buy a drink for Gaza – Recent UN and Amnesty International reports show that only 5% of the water in Gaza is suitable for human consumption, and 40% of Gazan disease is linked to drinking polluted water. Tap water exposes children to many risks: parasitic infections, kidney disease, anemia and more. This project builds and maintain water purification units, constructed with local labor and materials as available, in schools throughout Gaza. Support the Maia Project, which since 2007, has constructed 42 units with 10 more underway, to safeguard a most basic human right for tens of thousands of children–access to clean, safe drinking water. Link here.
6. Save the sub-aquatic Middle East –The Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, the Jordan River and various wetland habitats are facing many difficult challenges. The Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem is establishing a state of the art aquarium facility, that aims to inspire and educate visitors, and encourage action to save these magnificent environments. Your donation will make big splash. Link here.
7. Let your lover choose – The world is full of problems, charity fundraising website GlobalGiving is full of solutions, offering social entrepreneurs and non-profits from around the world a chance to raise the money that they need to improve their communities. Select the projects you want to support, make a tax-deductible contribution, and you’ll get email updates from the project so you can see how your gift is making a difference. Link here.
Nothing like waiting until the last minute. But listen up, slackers – these one-size-fits-all gift ideas can dig you out of most every holiday hole. It’s the thought that counts, and these options all say you are thinking right.