This year for Valentines day, make the day about experiences rather than things. The billions of cards that are sent contribute to deforestation and most end up in landfills. Shop from companies that are celebrated for their sustainable practices and find presents that recycle, repurpose, or restore. If you are purchasing gifts or edible indulgences, make sure they’re just as friendly to the earth as they’ll be to your partner with a little background research. You’ll find added romance in the non-commercial approach, whichever route you choose for keeping things a little greener this Valentine’s Day.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the environmental impact of Valentine’s Day without losing the romance and while still having a memorable day.
1. Skip The Store-Bought Card
If you’re a fan of paper cards then this year embrace your creativity and create your own card out of reclaimed paper. If you’re not a crafty person, search out a local artist who makes their own cards from recycled materials. There are also commercial cards available made from recycled materials so you have no excuse not to buy an environmentally responsible one. Alternately, this year, use technology to show your partner how much they mean to you. There are lots of free e-card sites available so search one that you like and send it to your sweetie.
2. Treat Them With Fair Trade Chocolate
Chocolates are a Valentine’s Day staple, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a mass-produced box of mystery chocolate.
3. Give Living Plants
Why not give your partner something that will last longer, like a nice herb plant? If you enjoy cooking together, adding home-grown herbs to your meals will make them taste that much better!
If you want to stay with the traditional flower route, visit your local farmers market and see what flowers are in season. You may get a better deal than in flower shops and you’ll be supporting a local grower.
4. Romantic Getaway
If you want to have a true eco-friendly Valentine’s Day, then get outside and enjoy nature. Taking off for a romantic weekend getaway is a great way to celebrate and have a weekend of love.
There are many small inns and bed and breakfasts that offer eco-friendly products/services and materials. Staying at an inn is a good alternative to staying at a large hotel because larger hotels have a higher carbon footprint.
This year, be a little more creative and search out some eco-friendly gifts. If you’re interested in jewelry, then select diamond rings/earrings/bracelets that were made using fairly traded diamonds. Another jewelry suggestion is pieces made from recycled items or a beautiful vintage piece to complement your partner’s style.
6. Upcycle What They Already Own
Make it even more personal with a gift that repurposes something that already belongs to your loved on.
7. Plant A Tree
There are tons of organizations that support tree planting activities in different cities, so you can plant a tree on your own, adopt a street or park tree, or attend a volunteer planting event.
8. Adopt An Animal
For lovers who are also animal lovers, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to gift an adoption kit from the World Wildlife Fund. You can choose from over 100 different species, and each adoption kit comes with a certificate, species fact sheet, photo, and plush animal.