5 Ways to Have an Eco-Friendly Valentine's Day, From Gifting to Getaways
Love is even more romantic when it's sustainable. Here's how to enjoy an eco-friendly Valentine's Day.
Valentine's Day is all about showing the love, regardless of your relationship status. Heart eyes may be aimed at your partners, your beloved friend, your beloved friend, and—if you're anything like us—the planet. Should you find yourself planning a romantic celebration, imagining a more eco-friendly Valentine's Day is as easy as approaching the go-to traditions with more mindfulness.
Though pretty and impressive, many of the rituals associated with Valentine's Day (and dating in general) come with a substantial environmental cost. To honor your relationship in the modern spirit, subverting some of these time-honored practices, or at least paying more attention, is the most thoughtful thing you can do.
From sustainably sourced flowers to farm-to-table meals to romantic staycations, here are some easy ways to enjoy an eco-friendly Valentine's Day this year and forever more.
5 Ways to Have an Eco-Friendly Valentine's Day
1. Source Your Flowers Intentionally
Ditch the dozen red roses (unless you grew them yourself, of course). According to the Society of American Florists, nearly 250 million roses are produced each year for Valentine’s Day, the majority of which are grown in Bogotá, Colombia, wrapped in plastic, refrigerated, and transported for your purchasing convenience—not to mention the shotty working conditions. That's a sizeable, less-than-ethical footprint for an unoriginal bouquet!
Instead, head to a nearby farmers' market or florist to secure your blooms. Ask about where the flowers came from—farmers love to discuss their wares—and put your own personal spin on the gift by helping with the arrangement. If you choose to purchase from a market, always check the label (look for Fair Trade) or opt for an enduring houseplant. We promise that even a slightly more mindful bouquet will be one that your partner will want to enjoy for as long as possible.
2. Be Mindful of Your Gifting
From chocolates to diamond jewelry, V-Day's mainstays can get pretty problematic. The average American spends $143 on Valentine's Day gifts, with a collective of $23.9 billion dollars spent last year alone. So why not be a bit more intentional whilst deciding where to direct your dollar?
Diamonds—an immediately associated example—require both ecologically invasive mining and carry a lasting legacy of violent human conflict (hence the not-so-romantic designations of "conflict" or "blood" diamonds).
Rather than going this tired route, select an ethically-mined or lab-grown stone, a unique antique piece, gift a box of Fair Trade chocolate, or a DIY or experiential gift.
3. Reimagine Valentine's Cards
While Valentine's Day's paper cards are technically recyclable, common additions like foil, glitter, and more make disposing of the sentiments less straightforward.
Instead, express yourself (and send your kids to school) with an eco alternative. Wishpops are made with high-quality cellulose, the pop-ups ready for a reusable life as a sponge once their brief time as a cute card has come to an end. Wishcloths, on the other hand, transform into Swedish dishcloths after communicating their message, ready to help you clean up any messes from a night spent...
4. ...Dining Sustainably!
This one is simple. Make one of the year's most romantic meals even more so by choosing a local restaurant and enjoying organic ingredients. The choice will minimize food miles and waste, all without sacrificing the spirit of the occasion.
That said, if dining out isn't your thing, Valentine's Day is a perfect opportunity to wow your partner with your kitchen skills. Whip up a local, organic, seasonal, and sustainably sourced meal in the comfort of your own home—truly one of the best ways of sharing the love that exists.
5. Plan an Eco-Friendly Date
Want to get away? Understandable—but keeping things slightly closer to home can be just as lovely. Lower (or eliminate) your carbon footprint by embracing the power of the staycation, or—if you live in a cooperative climate—embarking on a camping trip.
The company is infinitely more important than the view, anyway.
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