Saint Valentine’s Day, also known as Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is a holiday, surprisingly NOT created by Hallmark, that is observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it is not a holiday in most of them. With an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards sent world-wide, it’s easy to see how this holiday is far from being green. But there are many ways in which you can incorporate sustainable products or gifts in lieu of the not so sustainable, traditional ones. We found a fantastic article written by Sustainable Baby Steps, that has a long list of sustainable Valentine’s Day gifts for your loved ones, friends and significant other.
Skip the card:
Standing in the grocery store for 20 minutes doesn’t show anyone you love them. Instead opt for a hand-written letter or poem on recycled paper. Or better yet, create a long list of all the things you love about the person. Everyone from your children to your friends, parents and partners will appreciate the extra thought and personal touch much more. Just DON’T do an e-card or an email; it won’t win any brownie points.
Homemade Kid’s Cards:
If your kids are obligated to give a Valentine’s Day card to every child in their classroom, help them make their own out of recycled paper. They can even include on the card one genuine thing they like about the person.
When choosing flowers:
For your flower delivery, choose potted plants and organic or local whenever possible. Or spend the extra time on origami roses, because nothing says love like frustrating yourself over a small piece of paper for that special someone.
Do. Not. Buy. Perfume.
Giving your sweet thang a carcinogenic odor to cover their own sends an iffy message, if you ask me. Try to find an essential oil that reminds you of them or some other all-natural fragrance.
For the chocolate lover:
Okay, okay. Chocolate is probably a must for a lot of women. So, how about fair-trade and organic chocolate? Or maybe a romantic night making fudge together is the perfect Green Valentine gift idea?
Instead of a restaurant:
A homemade, homegrown, local and/or organic meal is a great alternative to eating out. Organic wine is an easy find. Using beeswax candles will add the romantic touch without breathing the fumes.
Plant a tree together to symbolize your relationship’s strength and endurance. Place a list (on compostable paper of course) of all the things you love about each other under its roots.
The perfect Valentine gift idea:
If you’re looking for a gift, search vintage. Antique jewelry, or some other retro gift will have more meaning and history without using any new resources. If you’re crafty enough, try a homemade gift – a knit scarf, a tye-dye shirt, a piece of art, etc.
Check out these Green Gift Giving tips for more ideas.
By: Jessica Lieberman, Director of Marketing, LEED AP ID+C
Sustainability + LEED Consulting, Energy Modeling, Building Commissioning
The Spinnaker Group Inc.