Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for people to show their appreciation for those who bring happiness and love to their lives. Here at Shift, we are all about declarations of love and affection, but strongly believe other people and the natural environment should not suffer in order to bring these things to market.
Some might not even be aware that conventional chocolate production happens at the expense of rain forests (so integral to the health of the earth) and is an industry that does not pay its workers (sometimes children) a living wage. Or that the gold and diamond industry is responsible for vast amounts of mining waste and is the cause of violent wars in Africa.
People also might not realize that millions of red roses given as a proclamation of love are primarily flown and trucked in from South America (causing tons of emissions) and use a lot of energy to keep them fresh, and copious amounts of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides to keep them growing on a constant basis.
And the paper greeting cards filled with your expressions of adoration? They are responsible for the loss of thousands upon thousands of trees around the world every year.
So, how do we purchase sweets for our sweet, while also showing our love for people around the world and Mother Earth?
Look for organic and fair trade chocolate for your lover with a sweet tooth. Buy jewelry made from recycled or vintage materials, or fairly mined gold and gemstones for your glamour guy or gal.
Jewelry at Shift made from recycled and vintage materials
Instead of red roses or other non-native flowers, give a sapling that can be planted and admired for a lifetime, or blooms made out of dried palm leaves. If greeting cards are a must-do, make sure you buy cards made from recycled paper or paper certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative®.
Palm leaf flowers and greeting cards made from recycled paper