Valentine's Day gifts for the eco-minded

As Valentine's Day approaches and you start thinking about the perfect gift for that special person in your life, consider gifts that make a difference as well as show how much you care.

Wild Birds Unlimited ( stores offer gifts that will bring the recipient joy, benefit the environment, assist wildlife and help a culture halfway around the world all at the same time.

Jewelry is a perennial favorite for Valentine's Day, and your valentine is sure to appreciate colorful jewelry that comes direct from the African continent. Zulugrass jewelry from the Leakey Collection, which is actually a combination of a bamboo-like grass and hand-blown glass beads, brings dazzling color to fashion while improving life for women in Africa's Maasai tribe. Many Wild Birds Unlimited stores sell the popular strands, which are made in more than 200 vivid color combinations. The durable, stylish strands may be worn as necklaces, anklets, bracelets, hair ties or used in the home as wine charms or drapery tie-backs.

Is your Valentine a coffee lover? You can help both birds and people by purchasing shade grown coffee from plantations where the beans provide trees for habitat for many of our backyard birds that migrate to Central and South America for the winter.

According to the "Denver Post," by 1990 more than 50 percent of coffee farms had converted to sun coffee farms, destroying winter habitats for many of our migratory song birds. Scientific studies have found as many as 150 bird species in traditional shade coffee plantations, second only to the number of birds found in virgin tropical forests.

Seven varieties of Song Bird Coffee are available: Birder's Blend, French Roast, Nicaraguan, Costa Rican, Guatemalan, Hazelnut and Decaffeinated Blend. Fifteen cents from each package purchased goes to American Birding Association programs including "Partners in Flight."

The WBU EcoTough feeder is also a great gift for bird lovers. Made from recycled plastic milk jugs (eight to 37 of them depending on the size of feeder you buy) they won't rot, crack, fade or split, and are extremely durable! So durable, in fact, they'll look almost new even after years in the yard, and they come with a lifetime guarantee covering the function of the feeder as well as squirrel damage. Most varieties can be hung or post mounted.

Wild Birds Unlimited is committed to bringing people and nature together with products that support sustainable agriculture and manufacturing processes, and also help people and the environment.

So this Valentine's Day, forget the chocolates - for more gift ideas inspired by Mother Nature, log on to where you'll also find a store location near you. Wild Birds Unlimited is the largest franchise system of backyard birdfeeding and nature specialty stores with more than 300 locations throughout the United States and Canada.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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