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Red Roses, Green Values: Where to Shop for Sustainable Valentine's Day Gifts

By , dealnews contributor

Valentine's Day is an easy holiday to tackle if you're thinking romance, baubles, and spoiling your sweetie. But if you're not keen on spoiling the environment in the process, the selection becomes a bit more restricted. Stay away from actual green roses and chocolates, and consider these five vendors whose array of Valentine's Day gifts will honor both your Valentine and our lady Mother Earth.

Vosges Haut Chocolat
Specialty: Exotic chocolates
Valentine's Day Gift: 18 Wink of Rabbit Caramels ($29 with $8 s&h, a low by $2)

With boutiques in Beverly Hills, New York, and Chicago (the company's home base), Vosges is as well known for its chocolate as it is for its sustainability: its stores are powered by 100% renewable energy. Vosges' eco-friendliness extends to its manufacturing plants (certified organic), and their candy bar boxes are made from 100% recycled material, containing at least 60% post consumer content. Whenever possible, Vosges buys organic ingredients for all its chocolate products. While the final product isn't the cheapest chocolate you can find, it's certainly delectable — especially if you spring for the brand's famed exotic flavors, like guajillo and pasilla chillies in the Oaxaca bar. This Vosges Mini Exotic Candy Bar Library ($25 with $5 s&h, a low by $5) gives your sweetheart a sampling of nine signature flavors.

Specialty: Flowers and floral bouquets
Valentine's Day Gift: Fair Trade Rose Bouquets: 12 Stems and Vase ($54 with $15.99 s&h, $5 off)

If green is just one of her favorite colors, then consider a lovely spread of multi-colored roses in a clear glass vase. FTD continues to be the go-to floral delivery operation, and for green reason: many of FTD's flowers and bouquets are certified sustainable by third party eco-friendly organizations like Fair Trade, VeriFlora, Florverde, USDA Organic, and Rainforest Alliance.

Brilliant Earth
Specialty: Jewelry
Valentine's Day Gift: Silver Fire Citrine and Diamond Pendant ($175 with free shipping)

What's more everlasting than diamonds? This Citrine gemstone with a Canadian diamond make for a classic double-bail pendant that's showcased in a recycled sterling silver setting. Based in San Francisco, Brilliant Earth guarantees that all of its products come from eco-friendly and ethical sources, and are made in accordance with fair trade practices. And while some of its wares are priced upwards of $4,000, Brilliant Earth offers a number of beautiful pieces under $250, too. What's more, 5% of Brilliant Earth's profits are donated to African non-profits.

World of Good by eBay
Specialty: Jewelry, housewares, clothing, more
Valentine's Day Gift: Romantic Kissing Couple, Balinese Woodcarving ($54.99 with $6 s&h)

Wayan Rendah's pieces of art have been showcased in Home Maker's magazine and are popular amongst eBay's World of Good, an international marketplace for artists and merchants selling "Eco Positive" goods. All products, ranging from electronics to housewares, jewelry and beyond, have been certified eco-friendly in accordance with independent Trust Provider organizations and labeled with Goodprint statements. Because many of the products at World of Good are handmade, act fast when you see something you love, as quantities are often limited.

Specialty:Men's and women's apparel
Valentine's Day Gift: For him: Nau Men's Adroit Shirt ($62.50 with $7.95 s&h, $63 off)
For her: Nau Women's M2 Knit Dress ($127.46 with free shipping, a low by $23)

This Portland-based company means sustainable fashion. Nau produces its unique attire with organic or recycled materials to create clothing that's unique in its look and composition. Nau also offers the extraordinary "Nau and Forever Guarantee:" whether you're the original owner or the 17th owner of a Nau product, you can return it for a refund or replacement if it fails to perform or meet expectations, until normal wear and tear run their course. What's more, Nau donates 2% of each order to a humanitarian and environmental organization of the customer's choice.

While the most obvious Valentine's Day gifts might not fulfill your desire to do good for both your sweetheart and the environment, all it takes is a little digging around from these and other eco-friendly and ethical brands to find something special for the holiday. And if you happen to need further advice for a non-traditional Valentine's Day gift, then click here for some inspired suggestions.

Front page photo credit: InHabitat

Lou Carlozo is a dealnews contributing writer. He covers personal finance for Reuters Wealth, and was most recently the managing editor of WalletPop.com, and before that a veteran columnist at the Chicago Tribune. Follow him on Twitter — @LouCarlozo63. You can also sign up for an email alert for all dealnews features.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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