Your heart started beating before anyone knew you were conceived.  It is the first internal organ to be formed and starts beating 16 days after conception. A human heart will beat some three billion times over an average lifespan. Amazing. No wonder the heart is the international symbol for love. The heart is also the most popular image associated with Valentine’s Day.

The Origins Of Valentine’s Day

The history of Valentine’s Day started in the 5th Century with both pagan and religious roots.  Valentine’s Day  has become a huge consumer holiday. Cupids, cards, chocolate, flowers and heart-shaped anythings are all part  of the celebrations.

Every Purchase Matters

We spend $20 Billion yearly on just one day to express affection for our loved ones.  I think as mothers, wives and sweethearts we need to be aware that every purchase matters. We need to consider who is growing, creating and making the gifts we give and receive. Purchasing Fair Trade items this Valentine’s Day is showing love to everyone. Let the shopping begin!

What Are You Giving For Valentine’s Day?

Chocolate is probably your number one choice. Giving Fair Trade Certified  chocolate insures that economic, social and environmental criteria are used in production and trade.  Farmers receive a fair price and no children or slaves are used in the production. There are over 2 million children  involved in the cocoa industry in Africa. If we only purchase Fair Trade chocolate it will send the message that we care about the farmers who are the backbone of the cocoa business. It will say we don’t approve of slavery or child labor.

fair-trade-usa-logoThe Good Chocolate Guide  lists the companies who sell Fair Trade chocolate.

CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE

ffl-logo-bwLake Champlain has a great assortment of items for Valentines.  Their chocolate is 95% Fair Trade certified. Lake Champlain has gone above and beyond in their practices and have earned the Fair for LifeSocial & Fair Trade Certification. The organic chocolate bars are the first of their products to be certified. Look for the Fair for Life icon on the packaging.

 

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Equal Exchange sells 24 mini dark chocolate hearts  They are perfect for your children’s classmates or office colleagues. Dark chocolate typically has only fat and sugar added to the cocoa and no milk. It is also a great source of antioxidants. Dark chocolate fights free radicals that cause heart disease.  It is the better choice for health reasons  but children tend to enjoy the taste of milk chocolate more.

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Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate Hearts

Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day Cards

One billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent worldwide every year. Unbelievable. Consider a Valentine’s Day card that is “tree-free”, meaning no trees were cut down to make their cards. Eco Party Time  online store uses paper made from 100% post-consumer waste. They are also embedded with seeds and can be planted. Each card is made from seed paper filled with North American wildflower seeds. The recipient places their card on top of pot with soil and covers with a thin layer of dirt. Water and sunshine will do the rest.

Each card is  3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches. Plantable seed paper contains a Bird’s Eye, Clarkia, Black Eyed Susan, Catchfly, Snap Dragon, English Daisy, and Sweet Alyssum

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Create Your Own Valentine’s Card

If you are adventurous you can also make your own plantable Valentine’s cards.
A fun project with children or friends.

This year you can start new traditions by making purchases that changes lives.  Knowledge empowers. Have fun, be creative and consider the choices you make as a consumer.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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