Valentine's Day is almost here and you'd like to buy something green for your significant other. Unfortunately, organic flowers don't seem to exist and organic chocolate, when it's available, seems to come only in the form of a generic candy bar. So where does one go for Valentine's Day treats that are both environmentally responsible and seasonal?
Try Whole Foods, the world's largest retailer of natural and organic foods. Founded in Austin, Texas in 1980, it now has stores in Mount Washington and Harbor East, plus six other locations in Maryland. (The store's website includes a "store locator" that enables clients to find the Whole Foods nearest them.) Whole Foods offers a selection of organic flowers, candy (complete with seasonal, heart-shaped boxes), and cookies. Whole Foods also labels those products that were produced locally. The organic chocolate, unfortunately, is more expensive than conventional chocolate, while the flowers seem to be a mixed bag. To contact the Mt. Washington store, call (410) 532-6700. To contact the Harbor East store, call (410) 528-1640.
Glarus Chocolatier has a store in Timonium. They also sell their products at Fairgrounds Discount Beverages in Timonium and The Wine Source in Baltimore. They use all natural ingredients and make their candies by hand, following the traditions of Swiss chocolate-makers. For more information, call (410) 252-6601.
Another possibility, particularly for those who prefer baked goods over candy, is Sweet 27 in Baltimore, which sells baked goods that are both gluten-free and made from all natural ingredients. Their specialty is cupcakes, but they also make other types of desserts, including cakes, tarts, and cookies. For more information, call (410) 464-7211.
There is also green jewelry, which is either handmade or made from recycled materials or both. Earth Alley is a gift shop in Baltimore that specializes in green and Fair Trade gifts, including jewelry. For more information, call (410) 366-2110.
Park Florist, which is located in Takoma Park, is one of the oldest florists in the Washington, D.C. area and has been around since 1935. Most of their flowers come from local farms, and many are Veriflora certified. (Veriflora is a sustainability certification program for fresh cut flowers and potted plants.) To learn more, call (301) 270-1848 or (800) 272-8949.