Tuesday, February 2, 2010

How Green Is My Love?

Ideas for a different sort of Valentine

Is your kind of girl the sort that would look at those dozen red roses and bemoan the fact that the flowers were raised with chemicals and will soon be dead? The sort that prefers a weekend saving the planet to a weekend of selfish exuberance? You’re in luck. Here are some ideas for places to go to choose that perfect gift for the ecologically friendly lover in your life.

Pick up a gift at The Green Corner Store on South Main in Little Rock. Lots of neat items that have been recycled, repurposed or created from local materials. Something cute: Sushi Jewelry, made from felt to resemble the popular Japanese-style snack food. Also, Flip-Off Jewelry, made from the “flip off” caps from insulin bottles kept out of landfills. Enjoy the double entendre. TheGreenCornerStore.com.

If you have a little money to spare and want to give your sweetheart something that’s truly original, try a unique item from Miller’s Mud Mill Pottery in Dumas. Gail Miller’s pieces have drawn the interest of thousands who seek out her unique and colorful creations. Her wheel-turned bowls, trays, cheeseboards and coffee mugs aren’t just useful, they’re works of art. Check out the website, MillersMudMill.com.

Or how about fine art? Local artists need your support. Eureka Thyme specializes in art and products that are all eco-friendly and made locally. From soy candles made in Arkansas to original photography by Randal Thompson and Dale Johnson to the whimsical Boston terrier paintings by Betty Johnson, you’ll find something you love for that someone you adore. EurekaThyme.com.

Does your darling dig the spa? Delve into natural body and skin products and more at Maumelle’s It’s All Green And More store. The business is working to bring eco-friendly, recycled and fair-trade items to the local market at a reasonable price. Whether its Wild Carrot Soap, Hemp Exfoliation Pads or Wild Weed Balm, you’ll find plenty to give your green dream mate -- including eco-friendly packaging to contain your purchases. Check out the website, ItsAllGreenAndMore.com.

Does your love enjoy the fine scent of a good candle? Save on the paraffin and go for the soy with Belle Candles. These double-scented creations out of Marion come in one standard size -- a 24 ounce candle that smells just as strong or sweet at its last burning as its first. Popular scents include Litsea & Basil, Brandied Pears, Pecan Pie and Green Tea -- and for the more whimsical, Monkey Farts, a blend of flavors including pineapple, banana, orange, coconut rum, green apple and vanilla. An Arkansas-made product you’ll enjoy sharing. Find them at The Green Cornerstore or The Historic Arkansas Museum downtown, or learn more by visiting their website, BelleCandles.com.

Other Ideas For Your Earth-Friendly Sweetheart
A personalized water bottle gift set. Buy two with your lover’s name emblazoned on the side -- so he’ll always have one that’s clean and ready to go.

A subscription to the Basket-A-Month program from the Certified Arkansas Farmers Market. Give the one you adore the gift of fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy for three months or more -- really a gift that keeps on giving.

A shake-charge flashlight. These little flashlights only require a good shake to provide light -- hence, no batteries to send to the landfill.

An under-the-sink compost bin. Perfect for the apartment-bound or for that person in your life who’s too busy to take vegetation out every day, the charcoal-filtered bin allows one to create compost without smelling up the kitchen.

Bamboo pajamas. Utterly renewable material that’s surprisingly soft, light, and comfortable. A good reason to wear pajamas to bed.

Solar powered cell phone charger. Whether you camp or just want a way to keep your phone charged without worrying about electricity, this little panel eliminates the excuse “I would have called, but my cell phone was dead.”

Help the animals. Make a donation to the Little Rock Zoo Conservation Fund in the name of the one you love to monkey around with. Consider a Zoo membership, while you’re at it.

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