Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to express your love and affection for others – but what about our love for the planet? Valentine’s Day ranks just behind Christmas, as the second biggest card-sending occasion of the year, allowing us to send our love, in secret or otherwise, to the people that matter most. Indeed, according to the American Greetings Corporation around 1 billion Valentine’s cards are sent around the globe each year.
Of course, it doesn’t stop at greeting cards. A further 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are snapped up by amorous consumers, while red roses quickly follow suit, as the most popular choice of fresh flowers for loved ones. Valentine’s day is clearly big business, but it also has a significant impact on the earth’s natural resources. So how can you show your love and affection for others, without causing undue damage to the environment?
Here’s some of our favorite ideas for greening your Valentine’s Day:
Send an e-card
There are so many e-card suppliers who can help you send a personalized electronic Valentine to the one you love. If you prefer to send a card, always buy cards made from recycled or tree-free paper. A new line of recyclable greeting cards also have seeds built into them, so when you’re finished with the card, you can simply plant it in your garden and watch the flowers grow!
If you’re buying chocolates for your loved one, choose a fair trade variety, which will ensure that the cocoa farmers who helped to produce your chocolate goodies get a fair price for their beans. You can customize your chocolates by melting different fairtrade varieties together – simply pour your melted chocolate into an ice-cube container and pop in the fridge to set!
Buy a rose bush
If you’d like to give the gift of flowers, why not buy a rose bush or potted flowers that will last for many years? Alternatively, if you prefer fresh flowers, look out for organic flowers which do not rely on chemicals or pesticides, or find some locally grown flowers which have not used excessive air-miles to import them.
Support organic restaurants
If you’re taking a loved one for a meal, find a local organic restaurant. You’ll hopefully enjoy the taste-sensations so much that you’ll go back for more! Alternatively, why not cook a romantic organic meal in the comfort of your own home?
If you’re planning to make a lingerie purchase, there are now many suppliers of organic and eco-friendly lingerie. Check out Green Knickers in the UK, Blue Canoe in the US, and if you want something extra-special from the designer range, why not check out Stella McCartney’s latest collection.
Planning to pop the question?
Around 10% of all marriage proposals take place on Valentine’s Day. So, if you’re planning to propose this Valentine’s Day, pay a visit to Brilliant Earth, a Canadian-based supplier of conflict-free diamonds, set in recycled gold and platinum. That way, you can be sure that your sparkler originates from ethically and environmentally responsible sources – it’s sure to make your partner say YES!
Hopefully you’re inspired to take small steps towards a greener Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!