Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Be Mine: Be Green

Happy Green Valentine's Day!

This year instead of eating at high class restaurants, showering her in expensive pesticide ridden roses, and adorning her in superficial, overvalued rocks brought to you by African slave labor....

Be creative. Be unique. Be in love.

Dinner: Going out to dinner is expensive, time consuming, and can be a bit stifling in comparison to a romantic evening at home cooking dinner together over one or a few bottles of organic red wine.

For one of the best websites for a complete green and sustainable meal, check out Sustainable Table.Com

For organic products Whole Foods and Trader Joe's are great places to start shopping. And for dessert, check out this yummy looking recipe:

Vegan Amaretto-spiked chocolate mousse

1/2 cup organic chocolate soy milk
9 or 10 ounce bag of semisweet vegan chocolate chips (Try Tropical Source or Sunspire Brand all-natural brands, NOT carob chips)
12 ounces silken tofu
1/4 cup Amaretto or almond-flavored liquor
1/4 teaspoon natural pure almond extract
Pour the chocolate milk into a small pot and bring to a simmer. Remove the milk from heat and let cool a bit while you melt down the chocolate chips. You can melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or if you don't own a double-boiler, you can cobble one together using a tiny saucepan set under a larger mixing bowl. Fill the tiny saucepan with an inch or two of water and bring barely to a simmer. Place the big mixing bowl with the chocolate chips on top of the tiny saucepan and let the heat come up and gently warm the chips while you stir occasionally until completely melted. Remove from heat.
Add the soy milk and silken tofu to the melted chocolate chips. Process with a hand or regular blender until completely smooth. Stir in the Amaretto and almond extract. Taste and adjust for flavor, adding a bit more extract if needed.
Chill in the big bowl (or in individual bowls) for at least 1 1/2 hours, the longer the better. The pudding will set up nicely as it cools.
Makes 6 decadent servings.

Flowers: According to the Sierra Club, seventy percent of flowers sold in the United States are imported. How do you think they get the flowers to stay so fresh? "In a 1995 report, Bittersweet Harvests for Global Supermarkets, the World Resources Institute found that rose and carnation producers in Ecuador use an average of six fungicides, four insecticides, and several herbicides. The situation is worse in Colombia, where flower-plantation workers near Bogotá are exposed to 127 types of pesticides. Nearly two-thirds of the Colombian workers suffer from headaches, nausea, rashes, asthma, and other symptoms of pesticide-related illnesses. (Such severe health effects are unlikely to plague consumers, though pesticide residues may aggravate existing allergies or chemical sensitivities.) In addition to the human toll, flower farms--20 percent of which are owned by Los Angeles–based Dole Food--have polluted and depleted Bogotá’s streams and groundwater."

Best Bet: Opt for locally grown organic flowers which can be found at your local supermarket or organic florist. Also, potted plants are always a better present than cut flowers, they last longer! The benefits of having potted plants around include increased happiness and better air quality.

Gift: First of all, if you have a boyfriend who is cool enough to buy you vintage jewelry hang on to him. Not only is it environmentally friendly but the coolest jewelry I own is definitely from my mom and grandma or from vintage boutiques.
This jewelry made out of sea glass is beautiful for the beach bum in your life

If you don't feel like hunting for vintage jewelry, how about some cheap and very romantic gift ideas: poetry, art (paint him or her a picture!), a coupon book (get creative here), massage gift certificates, a planned trip together like a hike in the park or a bike ride along the Potomac river...

Simply walking into a Kay Jeweler's or scoping out the new Tiffany's catalog is boring.

Be sure to share that bath water & why not use romantic candles instead of electric lights!

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