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Eco Friendly Holiday: Love the Earth This Valentine’s Day


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By Tara Bzdok

eco-friendly

Eco-Friendly Gifts for Significant Others

• Flowers sold in traditional flower shops are covered in pesticides and are grown in South America where workers are not paid a decent wage and are exposed to toxic levels of pesticides, so this year try an organic bouquet from organicbouquet.com.
• The processes used to produce traditional gold jewelry are very harmful to the environment. The alternative is to purchase recycled jewelry from Green Karat.
• Give the gift of organic wine from the Bonterra Vineyards in California in a very green wine bag from Eco-Friendly Bags. This lovely bag store also carries handbags and shopping bags made from jute, paper and cotton canvas, which make great gifts for her.
• Don’t forget about organic or shade grown chocolate as an expression of your love for your spouse and for the earth. Try Global Exchange’s online fair trade chocolate store for special valentine’s day packaging of many different brands of fair trade chocolate.

Green & Blacks dark and milk bars are especially good and are widely available in grocery stores. Organic chocolate is also the perfect gift for single friends, or treat yourself!

Ideas for Kid’s Valentines

• Kids can make their own Valentines at home or try the cute selection of cards made on recycled paper from Doodle Greetings.
• Buy some fair trade treats to send with the children to school instead of buying traditional Valentine’s Day candy.
• Better yet, in lieu of sweets, buy some fairly traded gifts, such as the adorable Mini Don’t Worry Dolls or the Hand-Painted Letters of the alphabet available from Global exchange. An idea would be to buy the letter that begins each child’s name in the class, and one for the teacher of course. Depending on the size of the class this could be quite affordable, as well as gratifying.
• One last idea would be to make some homemade, heart-shaped, whole wheat crackers with cream cheese and jam topping from the recipe below. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Animal Crackers

½ C apple juice
3 T canola or safflower oil
1 egg
1 ½ t pure vanilla extract
½ t sea salt
2 C whole wheat, brown rice, or barley flour
3 oz Cream Cheese
2-3 T Polaner All-Fruit Jam (any flavor)

In a medium sized bowl, beat together juice, oil, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients to form stiff dough. Do not over mix or knead. Cover bowl and place in refrigerator for at least one hour.
Wet a board or the counter top and then line with wax paper, the water sticks the paper to the counter. Sprinkle some flour on the wax paper. Roll out the dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters or cut into squares.
Place the crackers on an un-oiled baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Spread cream cheese on each cracker and top with a pea-sized drop of jam in the center.

Yeild: About 4 dozen

© Tara Bzdok

Tara Bzdok has a bachelor’s in English and is going to school to become a registered dietitian. For quick and easy whole food solutions, go to www.healthyplanet.wholefoodfarmacy.com. Tara is also an Arbonne Independent Consultant, specializing in pure, cruelty-free, Swiss-formulated skincare and nutrition products.

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