As soon as February 1 hit (actually as soon as the Christmas clearance cleared), the push for Valentine’s Day began. As the days tick closer to the year’s most romantic holiday, you may be among the many who are starting to panic about how to make this the best Valentine’s Day ever. Your first reaction may be to fall back to the standards – roses, that famous heart-shaped box of chocolates, dinner at the best restaurant in town, or a huge stuffed bear. Those are great for some, but if you are looking for the real “wow” factor, you’re going to need something with a bigger impact…like save the world kind of big. Or at least, show it some love. Here are some greener ways to show someone you love them and give the world a gift too.
1. Skip that traditional bouquet of long-stemmed roses.
The majority of long-stemmed roses are grown in Columbia, making the environmental cost of this Valentine’s Day cliché pretty high. While, we know girls swoon over those long-stemmed beauties, there are plenty of other ways to show your love through a delicate bloom. If your heart is set on a bouquet, choose locally-sourced flowers that are in season. Farmers markets and local florists and nurseries are your best bets for these kinds of environmentally-loving blooms. Instead of flowers that will die fairly quickly, consider purchasing a potted plant, especially a trendy succulent. Want to go over the moon? Plant something. Not only will it serve as a long-lasting reminder of your love, it will add life back to the environment.
2. Put a twist on the box chocolates with an eco-friendly option.
According to a study on chocolate by researchers at the University of Manchester (UK), it takes approximately 10,000 liters of water to produce one kilogram of chocolate. That means it takes 369-739 gallons of water to produce one stereotypical Valentine’s box of chocolates. In the US, we will probably purchase around 58 million pounds of chocolate during the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. That’s a big environmental impact!
Let me stop here to say that I, like most people, love chocolate and giving it up one of the sweetest days of the year might be a little too much to ask. So, if chocolates are a must, choose organic chocolates and if you can get them from a local chocolatier, do it. They may be a little more expensive than a mass-produced box of chocolates, but they will have so much more meaning and the taste is worth the extra cost.
3. Re-gift the right way with something made from recycled materials.
They say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but in reality, jewelry isn’t always so great to the environment. If it is sparkle you want to give, why not make it a unique piece of jewelry or art made from recycled materials. For the person who is unique enough to choose you, there are few more unique ways to say “I love you” than getting them something hand-crafted that reflects them completely.
4. Go on a date that shows a little love to the world too.
Most people go out to dinner at the best restaurant in town for Valentine’s Day, and you can do that in an environmentally-friendly way too by choosing a restaurant that sources their food locally and has other sustainable practices. But, if you are looking for something that is fun and will draw you together closely, why not choose a date that also gives back to your community. Postpone your Valentine’s Day date to Saturday and spend the day helping out at a local park or nature center (a guided hike counts too because understanding nature is a step towards sustaining it). Join/start a clean-up effort at a local beach, lake, or other area where you can end the day with a sunset stroll and picnic. There really is something about being in nature that can be calming and can connect you with the one you love and the earth around you.
Say I love you to the earth more often.
Valentine’s Day is a reminder to say I love you to your significant other, but to us at Emilygrene, it is also a reminder to show a little love to this world too. We strive each day to deliver services and products that will help our customers be more sustainable and environmentally-friendly when it comes to HVAC, energy, and products for their homes. Contact us if you want to learn how you can make more green choices for your business or home.