Why not try something different this Valentine’s Day and practice green gift giving. Eco-friendly romantic gift ideas offer a present not only for the recipient, but also for the planet. Choosing items that are sustainable, natural, and have the well-being of the Earth in mind is a way to express love and appreciation for your loved one, but also for the environment that everyone shares. Try any of these green gift ideas for Valentine’s Day to enjoy a more environmentally-friendly holiday.

Fair Trade Chocolate Is Sustainable and Sweet

Chocolate is one of the more conventional gift ideas for Valentine’s Day. Why not transform this traditional present into something more Earth-friendly by purchasing Fair Trade chocolate. Exactly what is Fair Trade chocolate? It is made from cocoa which has been grown by farmers who are given a fair wage, work under safe working conditions, and have transparency in the working place. The farming practices to produce the cocoa beans must be environmentally-sustainable. Where to find Fair Trade chocolate? Brands such as Cloud Nine, AlterEco, and Chuao can be found at your local Whole Foods Market, health food store, or online.

Eco-Friendly Jewelry and Clothing for Valentine’s Day

Another option for green gift giving this Valentine’s Day is eco-friendly jewelry and clothing. There are endless unique and high-quality options available if you look online or through smaller boutique shops. Handmade jewelry, creative artisan accessories made from recycled or sustainable materials, and clothing made from natural fibers are all excellent eco-friendly gift ideas. Not only are they green, but they are likely to be original, durable, and more interesting then conventional products. Forget the plastic and polyester and go for the bamboo and recycled glass from independent retailers such as Betty Belts, Cangles, and Element EcoWear.

Homemade Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

The best Valentine presents are homemade and from the heart. With a little creativity and a free afternoon there are so many eco-friendly gifts you can make yourself for your loved ones. Think green and use natural, sustainable, or used materials to make an Earth-friendly craft as a gift for Valentine’s Day. Consider the following ideas or come up with some of your own:

  • Use old clothing to put together an easy sewing project such as a travel pillow or a bag. Decorate with buttons, pins, zippers — use what you already have to create an extremely unique, individualized Valentine’s Day present.
  • Make homemade beeswax candles as a non-toxic, green gift.
  • Bake brownies, fudge, cookies, or candies with organic ingredients and give them to all of your loved ones this holiday.
  • Make homemade bath salts by blending sea salt and epsom salt with your choice of essential oils. Try an essential oil with aphrodisiac properties such as jasmine or ylang ylang,

Eco-friendly gift ideas are not only beneficial for the Earth and your Valentine, but also for you. Consider green gift giving as an opportunity to learn about what sustainable products are out there, to find out new ways to go green, and to discover how easy it is to make products yourself rather than buying them.

Who doesn’t love pizza? Well, we have made hundreds of homemade pizzas and experimented with flours, yeasts, and doughs. Here is a simple, easy recipe for home-made pizza that includes the crust. It’s so good that it will make you famous.

 

Ingredients for the Crust

  • 1 package (7 g.) of active dry yeast
  • 1 ¼ cup warm water
  • Tiny pinch of sugar or honey
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

 

How to Make the Pizza Crust

  1. First, turn your oven on to warm setting. If you’re using a wood fired oven, make sure to choose a firewood that will complement your tastes.
  2. Then, to your cup of very warm water, add a tiny pinch of sugar or honey. But make sure that the water is not so hot that it kills the yeast.
  3. Add a package of yeast. Yeast is alive, so a taste of sugar or honey will make it happy. And happy yeast rises. 
  4. Stir the yeast, water, and sugar mixture enough to get everything wet. 
  5. Let the mixture sit for a minute. In a large mixing bowl, add this mixture to your flour. Then, add a pinch of salt. 
  6. Stir the mixture with a fork or spoon until it starts to clump together. Then, get your hands in there and start kneading. Mashing the mixture down constantly, and fold it for a minute or two. Do this until it starts to get rubbery. Add enough warm water to keep the mixture moist and sticky, not overly dry. 
  7. Turn off the oven. 
  8. Now, form the dough into a ball. Then, rub a tablespoon of olive oil over it to moisten the surface. 
  9. Place the ball of dough back into mixing bowl. Cover it with a towel. Then, place it into the warm oven for a ½ hour or longer, until it doubles in size. The time will depend on how happy your yeast is. 

 

Assembling Your “Special” Pizza

  1. Prepare your toppings while the dough is still rising. You can use tomato sauce with garlic, cheddar cheese, mushrooms, olives, and chopped green peppers, but the sky’s the limit
  2. After the dough has risen, punch it down and spread it onto your lightly greased pizza pan. Whether you use a square pan or a round one, it doesn’t matter. 
  3. Then, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. If you like a thin crust, then you may have enough dough for two pizzas. You can even freeze dough to make a quick pizza some other time. 
  4. Spread tomato sauce, cheese, and all your ingredients onto the dough. Sprinkle Italian herbs to taste. Then, slide the dough into your preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Voila! Wasn’t that an easy pizza recipe? 

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