All’s fair (trade) in love and chocolate

This Valentine’s Day treat your sweetheart and the environment by giving fair trade chocolate. Who does not like taking a bite of smooth, creamy chocolate? On a chilly winter night, a cup of warm, soothing hot cocoa is tempting.

Cacao pods produce the cocoa seeds (beans) used for Endangered Species Chocolate grown in the natural shade of rich, diverse forests. Choosing the company’s products is one way to support sustainable forest farmland and the species that flourish there. Since the raw materials are ethically traded, Endangered Species can ensure farmers humane working conditions and a fair price for their cocoa.

The Indianapolis-based company donates 10 percent of its profits to support species, habitat and humanity. Shop locally for these chocolate bars at natural food markets and other fair trade food merchants. For more information, visit www.chocolatebar.com.
Adopt an imperiled animal for Valentine’s Day

Speaking of animal protection, how about adopting one for a Valentine? Until recently, polar bears have been one of nature’s hardiest survivors. Due to global warming, scientists predict two-thirds of their global population could disappear within the next 50 years. Rising temperatures are literally melting the ice beneath their paws, drastically reducing their habitat and food supply.

The National Wildlife Federation’s adoption center offers packages starting at $30 for polar bears and other imperiled animals. Visit www.nwf.org for details.
Save the planet … one kiss at a time

Can a tube of lipstick be good for the environment? It can if Aveda makes it. The cosmetics, skin and hair care manufacturer makes dozens of tempting lipstick shades in tubes that can be inserted into sustainable lip case.

Organic ingredients such as alfalfa, bilberry, carnauba wax, mango butter and sesame oil are used to produce the lip colors, while the refillable lip-color case contains up to 65 percent post-consumer recycled aluminum and 30 percent natural flax fibers.

Visit www.aveda.com to learn more about the refillable lipstick case and lip colors. Wear lip products by Aveda and save the planet, one kiss at a time.

Organic wine, cheese and thou

New York-based Four Chimneys Organic Wines is America’s first organic wine company. Names such as First Love (a Riesling-like white) and Honeydew Moon (with the aroma and flavor of the melon), can set the mood for a romantic evening. For more details, visit www.fourchimneysorganicwines.com.

The award-winning cheeses produced by Wisconsin-based Organic Valley Family of Farms will not only please the palate but also promote regional farm diversity and economic stability. Check out www.organicvalley.coop to find a local market that sells their products.
Sweet gifts for sweethearts

From Rose Petal Tea and an Artisan Spa Box to an Organic Valentine Cookie Assortment and a Chocolate Nut Gift Box featuring California almonds and Oregon hazelnuts, Eco Express may have just the right gift for that special someone. Choose from hundreds of gift ideas at www.ecoexpress.com.

Nearly everyone has someone special (partner, family member, friend or colleague) they can treat. Follow one of these suggestions or use your imagination…go green for Valentine’s Day!

Contact Eco Gal at info@evanstonroundtable.com or ecogal247@yahoo.com.