Dearest readers,

Sometimes when I’m down in the stacks researching answers to your latest dilemmas, I enjoy taking a stroll down Ask Umbra archives lane. Here are some sparkly tidbits I culled from my past advice on lessening your impact on that sweet little romantic holiday, Valentine’s Day. Have any of your own sustainable loving tips or stories? Let me know in the comments section below or shoot me an email.

  • Break up with your blow-up doll.
    And that jelly vibrator, while you’re at it. Lots of popular sex toys are made of PVC — a fancy name for vinyl (no vinyl, that’s final) — or with plastic-softening, hormone-disrupting phthalates. Heat and agitation from use can cause toxins to leach from the toys — not hot. Get the full Ask Umbra answer.
  • Pull the e-card.
    About a billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent globally each year. Don’t let your Valentine greeting be just another number: Save some paper (and a few bucks) by sending your snookums a well-selected e-card instead. Get the full Ask Umbra answer.
  • Sweeten the deal.
    If traditional is your middle name, then your parents were a little odd, no? Anyway, perhaps you’re inclined to give a more classic V Day gift like chocolate. Because of issues like child labor, low wages, pesticide use, and deforestation, pay careful attention when picking sweets for your sweetie. Look for chocolate that’s both fair-trade and organic. Get the full Ask Umbra answer.
  • Turn on the green light in the bedroom.
    Set the mood in your boudoir with sustainable hemp sheets, dimmed lighting, organic massage oils, and vegan condoms. Then pop in a steamy movie — An Inconvenient Truth, perhaps? — and let the magic begin. Get the full Ask Umbra answer.


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