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Sustainable Love ExpressionsOrigami Rose bouquet

Flowers, really?
Many pretty, cut flowers are grown on vast farms that use tons of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and don't treat their workers very well.
If you choose flowers: 
Choose potted plants and organic or local whenever possible.
Or
Spend the extra time on origami roses. Learn how to make origami paper flowers or see samples on our Pinterest Sustainable Celebrations board
Or
To send flowers long distance, check out EcoFlowers or Organic Bouquet.

Skip the store bought expression of your love (and skip the trip, the line, the cost...):

Try a hand-written letter or poem on recycled paper, make a long list of all the things you love about them, or try a a Wild Animal Ecard for Valentine's Day, courtesy of the Sierra Club (caution: don't ONLY do a e-card for your best sweetie.Think actual substance...)

handprint valentine flowers

Homemade Kid's Cards:
Help children make their own for classmates out of recycled paper and get creative!
Make a personalized handprinted card for relateives and parents - instant keepsake!

marquee

Expression of Love Certificate 
Similar to a gift certificate, but the present is yoru time/talent for the one you love. Make a meal, give a massage, a walk in the woods - that special thing you can do together that makes you both feel good.

Put their name in lights!
The marquee of The State theater in downtown South bend is available to rent and personalize with a message for your sweetie.
Something Delicious
Have a romantic dinner, made by you with love (with farm fresh eggs, local produce, and meats that are sustainably raised)! Purchase ingredients and get recipe ideas at the South Bend Farmer's Market or at Purple Porch Co-op.

Heart Pies

Homemade baked goods are always a hit, or purchase some sweet treats from one of the many local candy shops in the area: 

Olympia Candy Kitchen in Goshen, IN
Veni's Sweet Shop in Niles, MI
Buchanan Sweet Shop in Buchanan, MI

Need to Give Chocolate?
Consider Davis Chocolate of Mishawaka, IN, the only "Bean to Bar" chocolate manufacturer in Indiana. It is a small, family-owned and operated business, that features Organic, Raw, Kosher, Gluten Free, and Vegan selections.

Romantic andles...made from petroleum?Edible Body Candle
Keep it clean - the air, that is - with a natural oil candle. Even better, perhaps an all-natural and edible body candle that turns from candle to body oil will add some heat to a romantic evening.

Gift Giving Ideas/Links

Upcycled t-bags

UpCyCled ToTe BagS: Put old t-shrits to good use!
1. using an old t-shirt, cut off both sleeves and the collar to create the opening of the bag and the straps.
2. sew the bottom of the shirt to create the bottom of the bag.
3. For a no-sew method, cut vertical strips across the bottom of the shirt and double knot the top and bottom piece.

See a video tutorial on how to sew one HERE

Gift Basket of Local Goodies: Fill a thrift shop basket with homemade jams and jellies, honey, handmade goat's milk soaps, local wines, locally roasted coffee paired with mugs made by local artist, toys and even ornaments made from sheep or Alpaca wool.

Adopt-an-Animal at South Bend's Potawatomi Zoo

Adopt-a-Species gift from the World Wildlife Foundation

Deck your halls with the natural beauty and fragrance of locally grown trees and festive greenery.

From WNIT's Outdoor Elements, "chapter 2" is a video on Green Shopping and Eco-Gift Wrapping featuring Assitant Director Krista Bailey

The 12 Sustainable
 Days of Christmas

Talk Sustainable Celebrations! Join the conversation on our blog, on Facebook, or Tweet with us.