Vegetarian Zen Archive (Episodes 201 - 300)
Be my Veggie-Valentine!
Despite its theme of love, Valentine’s Day can be a high-pressure holiday. What to give your spouse of 30 years “who has everything”? You’ve only been on two dates with someone—do you give them a gift? Should you declare your undying love for your secret crush?? (probably not!)
Being a cruelty-free, eco-conscious shopper can make preparing to celebrate this day of love even more stressful. Here are 6 tips for finding animal planet-friendly Valentine’s day gifts!
1. Think outside the box (the chocolate box, that is!) — or at least find awesome vegan chocolates
Just because it doesn’t say “milk chocolate” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s vegan. Some dark chocolate products may contain filler ingredients, like whey or casein, that are derived from milk. Check out this article from Peta for a guide to vegan chocolate.
2. Opt for Organically Grown Flowers from Local Farms
Did you know that some of the flowers sold locally can actually come from places far away? Transporting flowers to other parts of the world results in a strain on the environment. Think air transport and refrigerated trucks heading to their final destinations. Finding flowers grown organically from local farms can help to leave a smaller carbon footprint on the planet!
3. Plant Something Together
Instead of a dozen roses, how about planting a rosebush or a favorite plant or tree together that will last for much longer! Not only do you get to spend time with your sweetie in the garden but you’re planting something you’ll both enjoy for a long time to come. And the bees will love you too!
4. Seek out Bee-Friendly Vegan Candles
Speaking of bees, traditional candles are often made from beeswax, which is not considered vegan. Luckily soy candles are a great alternative to beeswax when it comes to setting the romantic mood. Oh Comadre Candles is one of our favorite online shops for soy candles. We’ve purchased several candles from the candle maker and owner, Marcella Gomez. Her Pan Dulce and Mexican Hot Chocolate are DIVINE! She makes these candles using soy wax and cotton wicks. Great for the planet!
5. Seek Out Vegan Spirits
Did you know that many wines and spirits are refined (filtered to remove inpurities) using animal-derived products such as fish bladder? You would if you listened to our previous episode 137, Is Alcohol Vegan Friendly?. Fortunately, there are plant-based options for these fining agents, so discovering vegan wines isn’t all that difficult. Check out our previous podcast and Peta’s Guide to Vegan Wine for help!
6. Shop for handmade, Upcycled, Enviro-friendly gifts
There are so many amazing independent artists out there creating beautiful jewelry, artwork, clothing, and decor items from materials that would otherwise end up in landfills. Etsy.com is a great place for shopping for online handmade goodness, but don’t forget to shop local as well! Additionally, we’ll be welcoming back Cheery Bird Studio (Larissa’s upcycled functional art business) back to our Shop at Vegetarian Zen soon, so be on the lookout for that!