Organic foods, flowers can show Valentine’s Day love to environment

BOSTON As the United States has become more eco-conscious, suppliers of flowers, chocolate and wines are helping consumers show their love for the environment this Valentine’s Day.

Such programs as Florverde in Colombia and VeriFlora Certified Sustainably Grown in the United States help ensure participating floral farms, handlers and distributors abide by environmental and social best-practice standards. European flowers, too, have their own certification standards in place.

Eco-conscious blooms also are available at several online floral with a range of eco-conscious labels such as USDA Organic, VeriFlora Certified and Fair Trade.

The search for “green” flowers requires a little work, however. Boxed flowers may arrive at a florist with certification seals, but once unpacked and sorted, one rose looks like any other. Some stores specifically order VeriFlora-certified flowers and other proprieters watch for the certified seals and keeps tabs on the originating farms. Even grocery chains may carry VeriFlora or Organic flowers without knowing. The best way to find out is to ask the florist.

Like flowers, organic and biodynamic wines are available for the asking. Many of these wines come from France, Italy and Spain, where makers craft wines using long-held family traditions. A few to look for are: Lopez de Heredia Rioja, Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier Shiraz-Viognier, Buondonno Chianti Classico and Domaine Des-Fouques Cotes de Provence. On this side of the Atlantic, California’s Coturri Winery is dedicated to producing wines that are 100 percent organic and sulfite-free.

Organic chocolate is easier to find, especially at chain retailers such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Look for the USDA Organic and Fair Trade logos on chocolate from makers Dagoba, Lake Champlain, Art Bar and Green & Black’s. Endangered Species Chocolates puts an eco-twist on chocolate by donating 10 percent of its net profits to environmental organizations.

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