Green gifts for the darkly romantic Valentine

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Valentine gift guide
credit: Melissa Breyer

Although it has become an occasion swathed in pastels and marked by mawkish hearts and cutie-pie Cupids, Valentine’s Day wasn’t always such a sweet affair. Some say that the Hallmark holiday has its roots in the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalia – a drunken love frolic held during mid-February in which men sacrificed goats and dogs, and then ran around naked striking eager young women with the hides of the newly slain animals to ensure fertility. Sex lotteries were held; frowsy revelry ensued.

Fast-forward to the present, and the day of all things pink is steeped in severe sentimentality and no shortage of profligate consumerism … all in the name of love! So with that in mind we thought borrowing from the holiday’s saucier past – with a hint of dark Victoriana and Charles Addams thrown in for good measure – might be a refreshing way to recast green gift giving for your sweetheart. So without further ado, here are our sustainable picks for unexpected gifts that say "Be Mine" with nary a pink fluffy teddy bear in sight.

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