It’s easy to over do the celebration on Valentine’s Day as a couple. Whether it’s an extravagant dinner, flowers, chocolates, extra special gifts, and even a trip somewhere, you can go broke while creating a ton of waste and pollution; all in the goal to show your love on cupid’s birthday. Why not show your love for your significant other while showing love for mama earth with these great ways to be green on red day.
- Spend time together and enjoy the great outdoors by gardening or planting trees and flowers. Work together to make your back yard or even your neighborhood more sustainable for local wildlife by planting shrubs and trees, flowers rich in nectar and berry bushes.
- Set up a romantic picnic dinner in your new garden and then enjoy the stars while you eat dessert. All you need is a blanket and a few pillows, and you can take the goodies outside. If you’re not up to preparing dinner and washing dishes, find a restaurant that is within walking or biking distance. Instead of fighting traffic and wasting gas, you can take your time and reminisce on the way to the restaurant.
- Turn Valentine’s Day into a real holiday. Take the day off work. Then spend the day in bed together. Go to the movies. Go out to lunch. Go dancing. Go for a stroll. Heck, go on a hike! Simply, enjoy each other all day. Check out these 25 cheap and free date ideas that will be sweet to the environment and your wallet.
- If you take the day off then start it off with breakfast in bed. Heart shaped pancakes are a sweet and easy way to share your love. A hearty breakfast will keep the love energy going throughout the day.
- While you’re at it, stay in for the other big meal and cook that special someone a wonderful Valentines dinner. Rememeber the picnic idea? Here are ten vegan Valentine’s Day recipes for you to show off your cooking skills. Plus a home cooked meal is just so much more romantic.
- When choosing the delcious wine to accompany your meal ask for help choosing one that is local, organic or bio-dynamic. Some great organic and bio-dynamic wines are from Parducci – they utilize 100% renewable green power and employ Eco friendly packaging – not to mention they make their wine using locally farmed grapes, recycle 100% of their winery waste water and are family owned.
Instead of a stuffed animal
- Adopt your special someone’s favorite animal! The World Wildlife Fund and National Wildlife Federation have more than 100 species that need your help. For him, adopt a great white shark, eagle, gorilla or emperor penguin. For her, consider adopting a cheetah, sea turtle, giraffe or even a monkey for your little love monkey.
- Teddy Polar Bears are made from vibrant recycled fabric prints put a savvy eco spin on a tried and true Valentine present.
Instead of a bouqet of flowers
- Grow your own. If you have a relatively green thumb, the best thing you can do is grow, cut and arrange the bouquet yourself! This way, no pesticides or socially irresponsible techniques are involved — it’s just you, the sun and a lot of love.
- Give seeds. If you’re planning a gift for a girlfriend, wife or daughter that you live with, think about giving some organic flower seeds instead of a full-sized plant. This way, you can enjoy the gift of love together for many months to come. “Wrap” the seeds in a recycled plastic flower pot, or upcycle your own as part of the fun!
- Forget the roses! Three popular indoor plants — the Areca palm, mother-in-law’s tongue, and the “money plant” — convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, removing organic compounds. Bringing these plants into a home or office filters ambient air. Giving your valentine one of these plants proves that you care about their health and well-being all year long!
- If you’re still compelled to buy flowers for V-Day purchase them from a Fair Trade certified source like Whole Foods, food coops, natural food stores, or online from organicbouquet.com where you can also find many other organic and bio-dynamically grown products. Even your local farmers market will still keep it local or check out www.localharvest.org to find flower growers in your area, who can use less pesticides and less energy to get flowers to your door.
Instead of a Hallmark card
- Write a love letter on a recycled and hand-decorated card.
- Create DIY recylced sweetheart messages. Made from old magazines and junk mail, it’s the perfect way to tell your sweetie how much you care without the added calories and sugar.
- Praise them in public. Complimenting and telling them how much you care for them in front of someone else will make them feel extra special on this day.
- Make cute Valentine’s Day cards out of recycled handmade paper and fabric scraps. With or without coupled-up kitties!
- Wrapped up with String also has ideas for making pretty recycled paper cards.
- If your favorite valentine favors the traditional flowers and card duo of offerings, wow them with a plantable eco Valentine’s Day card that blossoms into wildflowers!
Instead of that expensive gift
- Pamper them in thrift store style. Get them something big from the thrift store that they need and have always wanted to have. Even better, get them a bunch of smaller things! It’s a thrift store so you can go a little crazier! Place a ton of little gifts all around the house all day and keep the surprises coming.
- Purchase recycled Valentine gifts from Etsy. Tons of selection, handmade, you support artists and they are just plain adorable.
- The Spotted Sparrow has come up with easily print and create book of love coupons. Customize them specifically to your love with free hugs, massages, or even just a "take care of the kids day".
- If your loved one is the type that would still want a bought gift, there are plenty of Valentine specific handmade items by talented artists at Folksy.
- For the man, you certaintly can’t go jewelry, but you can still go handmade with these gift ideas that include a recycled book journal, infused booze and a scarf made from his old t-shirts you’ve been dying to throw out.
Instead of the box of chocolates
- Buy sustainable chocolates:
- Dove Chocolates – Mars, the parent company of Dove chocolate, takes sustainable cocoa agriculture seriously. They held the first International Workshop on Sustainable Cocoa Farming, and they work with their cocoa farmers to help them have sustainable lives and livelihoods.
- Green & Black’s – Green & Black’s chocolate bars are organic and fair trade. They are pretty much every where now, but if you need help, use their store finder.
- Divine – Not as easy to find as the first two choices, but stores with a good organic or natural section should have these tasty chocolates. Divine is a fair trade company. Forty-five percent of the company is owned by the farmers who grow the cocoa. You can use the store finder on Divine’s website to find a store that sells their products near you.
- Theo – Fair trade and organic. The store locator on their website will help you find a grocery store near you that carries it.
- Newman’s Own – Organic and Rain Forest Alliance certified, Newman’s Own makes chocolate bars and chocolate cups. Newman’s Own can be found in many grocery stores, but you can use their store locator on their website to be sure you’re going to a store that carries it.
- Bake your own heart shaped chocolate cake. Even more romantic and gluttonous than those little bitty chocolates.
Whatever you do, just make sure you love the one you’re with and make sure they love you back. Not just on Valentine’s Day, but everyday!