OK, you put off getting something for Valentine's Day until the weekend, only to realize that V-Day is Saturday. No problem. We've got your last-second Valentine's Day gift ideas that are both romantic and (sometimes sneakily) eco-friendly. And before you get scared away at the idea, let me promise that two of them involve nudity. OK? Got that? Naked is on the list.
Hey, you're probably too late for this, but if you're a smooth talker, maybe you can get away with something like, "it was on back order," or, "time is an illusion propagated by The Man, and our love transcends that." Anyway, if you can swing getting a late Valentine's Day gift, there are always fancy baubles that use recycled metals, as Zem Joaquin recommends, or send a cool message.
For my money, the coolest eco-necklace I've ever seen raises awareness of the world's water issues (and doesn't break the bank).
But if you're in a rush, here's an idea: I recently bought my lady friend a very cool necklace made from an old watch face. It's something that was discarded, cleaned and reclaimed. I know you can find an old watch and a chain. Just make sure you clean it up and make it special. (If you're in New York, you can pick one up ready-made at 3R Living.)
4. WHAT'S VALENTINE'S DAY?
Don't celebrate it. Sarah Newman has plenty of ideas for a sustainable Valentine's Day, but her most sustainable idea might just be abstaining from the holiday altogether:
For those of us who are single, we might have the following instincts for dealing with February 14th: hide and pretend the day doesn't exist (I sometimes use the Jewish card to explain to people that I don't celebrate a holiday honoring St. Valentine), embrace it as International Quirky Alone Day or comb through all of your Facebook friends to find a group of like-minded single people to spend time downing lots of alcohol and chocolate while also paying for an over-priced meal. Whatever your take is on February 14th, it's an opportunity to actually not spend much money (and who has any left to spend in this economy?) and make it a sustainable day.
Also, Grist has an amazing guide to a green Valentine's Day alone, including safely disposing of the leftover trinkets from old relationships:
Done cheering up others? Now cheer yourself up. Burning mementos may be the most cathartic method of disposal -- but it might also be the worst for your health. If your old love letters are on glossy or colored paper, setting them aflame can create funky gases and, unfortunately, should be avoided. Ceremoniously dump them into the recycling bin instead, since inks and coatings are best -- if anticlimactically -- dealt with by a recycling center. And since burning that sentimental trinket can create cancer-causing dioxins, the trash is actually the best option if something can't be recycled. Besides, it'd be a shame to call the fire department -- if I Heart Huckabees taught us anything, it's that fire trucks are not green.
Go vegetarian or vegan for Valentine's Day because alliteration is awesome and so it the earth. Make a vegan chocolate cake, a decadent vegan chocolate pecan tart, or try chocolate-dipped strawberries.
2. AS PROMISED... NUDITY
OK, you've made it to the naked portion of our Valentine's Day tips. From Planet Green:
I've had a few different boyfriends on Valentine's Days past, and the quest to secure the perfect gift while still being eco-minded has always been a tough one.
But finally, I've got an idea for a perfect Valentine's Gift:
Digital Boudoir Photos.
1. SIMPLICITY AND CONSERVATION
Reduce! It's first 'R!'
Just cut back on water use and share a shower.