This recycled oil drum heart from PrettyThingsandCoolStuff.com is one of the many eco-friendly gifts that can be found from Metroplex businesses. Photos courtesy of listed businesses.
Feb. 5, 2018
Whether you're pampering your sweetheart, bringing some cheer to a loved one or just treating yourself, choose something special for Valentine's Day this year. Here's our list of Cupid-approved, ethical and eco-friendly gifts – including several experiential ideas. Prices may vary slightly.
Local Handmade Confections
When Chef Tida Pichakron traded in corporate America for the kitchen, she graced DFW with her amazing talents and tantalizing treats at her east Dallas pastry shop. Along with co-owner, Chef Gianni Santin, their macaroons raise the bar of deliciousness and their cakes are the stuff of legend. For Valentine’s Day, Tida recommends the Chocolate Heart Pod ($16), filled with tasty treats from caramel truffles to chocolate covered nuts or indulge in one of their Chocolate Raspberry Heart Mousses, sure to please any sweet tooth ($5.25). Haute Sweets, 10230 E. Northwest Hwy, Dallas, 75238.
The Write Stuff
Your local Half Price Books offers a bevy of delightful gifts that are perfect for your paramour. Just a few examples: WRITE Easy Journal is the perfect diary to store special memories with your valentine ($7.99). SKETCH Easy Sketchbook will inspire artistic creations with your honey ($9.99). Colored Pencils Set includes 8 colored pencils, 1 pencil sharpener, 8-inch ruler, 1 eraser and 1 wooden box ($5.99). Not sure what to buy? How about a Half Price Books recyclable gift card with the value of your choice. Because Half Price Books keeps used books in circulation, their gift card is the ultimate in sustainability. Half Price Books locations around DFW.
Blooming Bed of Flowers
Honor the special people in your life for a full year with a Blooming Bed of Color at the Dallas Arboretum, or for the duration of Dallas Blooms with a Blooming Bed of Bulbs. Both gifts provide honorees with approximately 10 linear feet of spectacular flowers in the garden, marked with a special sign recognizing both the honoree and donor. Both you and those you honor will be invited to the Blooming Beds Reception, held every year during Dallas Blooms. Your contribution is fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. From $400 to $675. For more information on the Blooming Beds program, contact the Dallas Arboretum Development Office at 214-515-6546 or email email@example.com. Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, 75218.
Goat’s Milk Soaps
A well-balanced and healthy breakfast can get you and your partner off to a good start. Coffee, Goat’s Milk Kefir and Oatmeal make a great combination for your skin as well in Morning Munchies soap by the Bohemian Shepherdess – a farmer specializing in skincare products crafted from what she produces on her land in Venus, Texas. Trinity Haymarket offers a variety of Bohemian Shepherdess soaps including their Trinity Haymarket signature bar made from rosemary and patchouli. Each one features a delightful goat from the Bohemian Shepherdess farm on the label. $7 each or $20 for 3 bars, mix and match. Trinity Haymarket, 1715 Market Center Blvd Dallas 75207.
Slightly Shocking Oven Mitts and Socks
Looking for something a bit different? If you show your love by living on the edge, check out Blue Q’s oven mitts and socks at Rooster Home & Hardware. We can’t show some of the more-irreverent designs, but we just adore this sarcastic pink mitt. Maybe it's a warning, maybe it's a statement of fact. Whatever – it's cute and a damn near perfect accessory for a mid-mod kitchen. Super-insulated.100 percent cotton. Lots more designs from which to choose including socks that will knock your socks off! $12.49 each for mitts. $8.49 to $10.49 per pair for socks. Rooster Home & Hardware, 10233 East Northwest Hwy. Suite 409, Dallas 75238.
Butterfly Love Fest
Have you ever wanted to sneak into the Butterfly House at Texas Discovery Garden after-hours? Now you can on Wednesday, Feb. 14, from 6 pm to 8 pm. Enjoy a truly unique experience with your mate with this limited attendee after-hours event. Not only will you have the butterflies almost to yourselves – but you’ll enjoy a delicious Valentine dinner and drinks (featuring high-end chocolate-covered insects by Don Bugito) while entomologist John Watts chats about bug love and insect reproduction. $60 for a couples ticket, $40 for a single ticket. 20 percent member discounts apply. Want to enjoy the Valentine’s event and include a fun program for your kids? Drop off your potty-trained child with the Education Team for a mini-camp and dinner while you enjoy your evening! Only $20 per child ($17 per member child). Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Dallas, 75210.
Succulent Heart Planters and Collage Heart Cards Workshop
North Haven Gardens is bursting with life this spring. Pick up a loveable heart-shaped stone planter filled with succulent rosettes that is an ideal gift for your sweetie’s home or office. The 5-inch is $19.99 and the 7-inch is $29.99. Then register for the Collage Heart Cards Workshop where you can create your own art card for your sweetheart or something special for a friend or family member with guidance from artist Sally Wilkins. $50. All basic supplies are included. Workshop is Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Register online here. North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Rd, Dallas, TX 75230.
For the Birds
Wild Birds Unlimited has a treasure trove of unusual gifts for your nature-loving Romeo or Juliet such as their Stackables birdfeeders. Choose from over a dozen fillers including suet rings, sunflower meats, peanuts, pecans and fruit to attract cardinals, chickadees, woodpeckers, wrens and more. Some are now available with hot peppers that the birds love but squirrels don’t. Highly nutritious to help your feathered friends bulk up for spring. WBU owner David Hurt suggests that these feeders are great for urban areas because of their compact size. Feeder and fillers from under $15-$30. Wild Birds Unlimited, 5715 West Lovers Ln, Dallas 75209.
Marshall Grain in Grapevine is gearing up for Valentine’s and bird season with loads of goodies such as this upside-down suet birdfeeder made from recycled plastic. Fun to watch as the birds nosh in a comfortable position. The muted natural colors of this feeder attract a wide variety of avian customers including colorful songbirds. Tough material resists fading, peeling, cracking and warping. Weather-proof, black vinyl-coated suet cage. Choose from several different suet fillers (not included). Lifetime warranty. $21.99. Marshall Grain, 3525 William D. Tate, Grapevine.
Valentine Mini-Spa Gift Box
Our friends at White Rock Soap Gallery have assembled the cutest collection of affection including their vegan grapefruit lip balm (with jojoba, mango butter and coconut Oil), peppermint bath bomb (with baking soda, essential oils and dead sea salt) and mini rosé LOVE candle to fan the flames this Valentine’s Day. Ideal for your beloved as well as teacher’s gift, for co-workers, etc. In confetti-lined gift box and tied with a red ribbon. $10 at White Rock Soap Gallery,10233 East Northwest Hwy, Suite 401, Dallas 75238. Most products also available online at WhiteRockSoapGallery.com.
Whole Trade Roses®
This Valentine’s Day, surprise your significant other with Whole Trade roses from Whole Foods that support healthy ecosystems and thriving farmworker communities. Each purchase of Whole Trade roses gives back to communities where the flowers were sourced. Whole Trade® growers work with Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade USA and other third-party organizations to verify that farms meet occupational health and safety requirements, provide legal minimum wage and respect human rights. They also monitor farms to make sure they meet clear criteria for environmental responsibility — including restricting pesticide use. Prices vary. Whole Foods Market DFW locations.
“Healthy” Fair Trade Chocolates
REI is about the love of fitness and they offer several unique Valentine ideas that are as fun on the trail as they are in a gift basket. These Theo chocolates say “I love you” in so many ways. Not only are they delicious but each serving contains 50 mg of cocoa flavanols, which can contribute to heart health by supporting healthy blood flow. Choose from several varieties such as Coconut Turmeric Chocolate Clusters that feature crispy quinoa, toasted coconut and ground turmeric in 60 percent dark chocolate or Lemon Hemp Chocolate Clusters made from quinoa, toasted coconut, hemp seeds and lemon essential oil in 60 percent dark chocolate. All Fair Trade, organic, gluten- and soy-free, Kosher and vegan. Sold locally from $3 to $6 each at REI, 5929 E Northwest Hwy, Dallas, TX 75231.
Here's an eco-friendly way to enjoy the aroma and benefits of essential oils. NOW® Solutions Real Bamboo Ultrasonic Oil Diffuser is BPA-free and utilizes high-frequency ultrasonic electrical vibrations to create an ultra-fine mist. This diffusion method doesn’t utilize heat, which maintains essential oil integrity and holistic properties. $49.99. Available at Central Market.
Colonial New Mexican Drinking Chocolate
Drink chocolate the way that it was meant to be. Dallas-based online proprietress Kim Young of Pretty Things & Cool Stuff describes her concoction thusly, “This chocolate elixir represents the historic drinking chocolate of the Northern New Mexico Spanish frontier from the late 1500s to the early 1800s. This recipe, a more simplified version of the Iberian chocolate of the same period, is redolent with spices, including Ceylon (cinnamon) and hazelnuts, which impart a rich flavor which lingers on the palate.” Add the powder to a hot liquid of your choice such as water, almond or coconut milk or dairy. $20 for 8 oz blend of bean-to-bar chocolate and spices. PrettyThingsandCoolStuff.com.
Recycled Oil Drum Heart
Another sweet gift from Pretty Things & Cool Stuff is this precious handcrafted heart made by Haitian master craftsman Serge Jolimeau. Over 4-inches across, each one is slightly different as the artist flattens and then hand-tools the metal that formerly went to a landfill. The debossed ornament can be hung on a bottle of wine, in a sunny window or used to adorn a larger gift. A raffia ribbon is the ideal finishing touch. $18. PrettyThingsandCoolStuff.com.
Chocolate-Flavored Lip Gloss
There’s nothing more sexy than a shiny kiss, especially with a hint of a delicious natural chocolate flavor! Lily Lolo Natural Lip Gloss is made with nourishing Vitamin E and Organic Jojoba Oil to moisturize your sweetie’s lips with the power of the planet. The formula is non-sticky and provides the perfect high gloss shine. Choose from 8 shades plus clear. Can be layered over lipstick for deeper color. Free from synthetic fragrances, dyes and toxic chemicals. $16 each. Free shipping in US on orders of $75 or more. The ChoosyChick.com.
Adopt a “Wild” Animal
What could be more adorable than a cuddly Sierra Club plush for Valentine's Day? When you symbolically adopt a fuzzy fox, grizzly bear, gray wolf, snowy owl, sea otter, or over a dozen other creatures – you are helping to protect America's magnificent wildlife and wildlands for generations to come. Each gift includes the plush cuddly creature of your choice plus a 16-page, full color 8-inch-by-10-inch booklet about your animal, an adoption certificate, fun nature facts, a sticker sheet and a map of American wildlife. $39 each. SierraClub.com.
Donate to Refugees
For the lover who has everything, why not give a selfless gift in their name to the International Rescue Committee to help someone on the other side of our amazing planet? When war or a natural disaster forces a family from home, even the most basic necessities are precious. For just $84 – your donation covers the cost of 15 warm, soft blankets for uprooted families who have lost virtually everything. $58 will pay for a year of education that can give a deserving young girl a chance at a better, brighter life. $45 will bestow a beloved stuffed bear to a youngster in need during times of crisis. $36 will insure safe transportation and critical protection to keep refugee families out of harm’s way. Rescue.org.