Have a Green Valentine’s Day

by Antonio Pasolini on February 9, 2011

Via Nature Lover

February 14 is the day when people across the globe celebrate Love. But we should also be showing our love to Mother Earth by making the date as eco-friendly as possible. Those billions of cards, millions of heart-shaped chocolate boxes and flower bouquets all come with a heavy environmental price tag. Here are a few tips to make your Valentine’s Day as green as possible.

Flowers and plants: One of Change.org’s current campaigns is targeted at flower vendors that source their product from farms with bad practices, both from an environmental and human rights point of view. Make sure the flowers you get are fair trade and organic. Even better, why not pluck some flowers from your own garden, if you have one? Non-fair trade flowers are laden with dangerous pesticides that harm the environment and the people who handle them. Now, if you really want to think outside the box, why not give your loved one a potted plant? They last longer and look as pretty – and in the case of herbs they can be used for cooking (ex: rosemary, basil etc).

Dining out: It is a well-known fact that a plant-based diet is the most environmentally friendly one since livestock is the largest source of greenhouse gases. So if you’re not a vegan already, why not give it a go on Valentine’s Day? Even if you don’t find a specifically vegan restaurant in your area, it is always possible to give the restaurant a call beforehand and request a vegan menu. You’ll be in for a pleasant surprise. Check out the Happy Cow website to find a vegan restaurant near you.

Fair-trade chocolate: Chocolate is a staple of Valentine’s Day celebrations but it’s not always very sweet to the planet. Rainforest Relief separates the wheat from the chaff when it comes to cocoa plantations and companies that we can trust or not. Also choose less packaged options as confectioners tend to get a little carried away with wrapping gimmicks.

Gifts: We all love getting and giving them. But sometimes it can be baffling to choose something for our Valentine since most people seem to have everything they need these days. One way out of the present-giving dilemma is to sponsor a green organization in honor of the loved one. Many organizations offer this type of service to raise much-needed funding to carry out essential work. It could be related to wildlife preservation, habitat conservation or to help run animal sanctuaries. It’s a compassionate choice and it’s emissions-free.

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