After the success of our UU Activist Holiday Gift Guide in December, we at the UUA Washington Office for Advocacy decided to do it again for Valentine’s Day. Here are some eco-friendly and social justice gifts that are perfect for loved ones.

Alex: For my gift recommendation, I give you Make Magazine and Craft Magazine. In two of my favorite magazines, people send in their homemade projects. Make Magazine shows people how to create handy machines and gadgets using mostly recycled materials and outdated technology. Craft Magazine has fun arts and crafts projects using reusable, sustainable materials. Plus, check out the cards—they are totally challenging the Gender Binary. And I think that is awesome!

Grace: Being a conscious consumer can often be very expensive. If you have a tight budget, or just want to put that extra touch of love into your gift, check out this Family Fun craft site. There are a ton of ideas for do-it-yourself Valentine’s Day gifts that are great for the entire family. Take some time this year and make handmade cards for your loved ones. No matter your artistic ability a handmade gift always comes from the heart.

Kat: Most of us have more stuff than we know what to do with. Yet we still want to get something for our loved ones to express how much they mean to us. This Valentines day, spread the love with gifts that will make a lasting difference. Make a gift to your favorite charity in your sweetie’s name. (For example, Heifer International.) Because of the ailing economy, charitable donations are down so your gifts mean more than ever.

Flowerbud is a veriflora approved flower company which means “they strive to ensure that all of our flowers are grown in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.” The flowers may be on the pricey side but knowing that you are getting beautiful flowers from a socially responsible company is worth every penny.

EcoExpress makes natural and organic gifts. Their Valentine’s Day spread includes chocolate, candles, wine and cookies. The cookies look especially delicious.

Before you make romantic dinner reservations check out Local to see if there are any restaurants in your area that use locally grown food. You can also find farms, organic grocery stores, and farmers markets in your area.

Give the gift of life. Blood supplies are often dangerously low during the winter months. An hour or two of your time could literally save a life. Find a local blood bank here.

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Grace Garner

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