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Valentine’s Day is upon us and you can see cheeks start to blush everywhere. It’s a day of romance when lovers and friends share their sentiments with symbolic gifts.
And companies thrive on this day, because in the U.S., we’ll spend roughly 19.6 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day, which is about $143 per person on average. This means that the real meaning of our gestures may get lost under a halo of senseless spending.
In fact, Valentine’s Day giving is a global industry with gold mined in South Africa, flowers grown in Columbia, and chocolate made in Nigeria. Cheap labor, carbon-emitting shipments, and rose-preserving chemicals probably don’t put anyone “in the mood.”
That’s why we encourage you to give gifts from the heart, that show you care about your loved ones and your planet.
For a general guideline, try to shop local to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, choose DIY projects and vegan meals to save on global resources and perform meaningful actions so your time and money give back to the world. Here are some more specific tips for giving classic Valentine’s Day treats a sustainable makeover.
Check the label on your chocolates to ensure it uses organic ingredients and fair trade practices. Buy from companies that care about their workers and crops as much as you care about your sweetheart.
Conventional cut flowers create huge amounts of waste and they rely on many chemicals for fertilization. Many flowers also get shipped from far away. You can easily avoid these problems by choosing to plant a tree, perennial flower or rose bush in the ground that will grow with your relationship over time. If you don’t have your own garden, then give a potted plant that you and your significant other can care for together.
Don't feel like gifting a plant? What about plant infused items such as our Hair & Body Oil?
Historically, Valentine’s Day cards were handmade. Help the children in your life restore this tradition by planning a fun event to help them craft, collage or hand draw their Valentine’s Day cards, rather than purchase store-bought single-use cards that may end up in the landfill. Apply the same idea to card giving among friends and loved ones as adults. Choose paper and craft materials that are recycled or locally produced, or reuse old cards by making collages with them.
A romantic meal is often one of the main highlights of Valentine’s Day. Think of ways you can thrive with your own resources. Disconnect from your devices and spend time together by choosing local organic ingredients at the farmer’s market for a home-cooked meal.
There are lots of fun ways to give your weekend getaway a green theme. Take bikes instead of cars, spend time outdoors, rent an off-the-grid cabin, volunteer at a local organic farm or have a staycation by booking a room at a locally renowned hotel or establishment. Whichever option you choose, you can personalize it simply by embedding your own style in the planning.
Keep in mind that Valentine’s Day is most meaningful when it becomes an expression of longevity, symbolizing relationships that last. For the same reason, buy simple, classic gifts that can be used over and over again. Avoid products and materials that quickly wear out or go out of fashion. Always choose brands that care about their own sustainability profile.
Lastly, packaging should never go straight to the trash bin. Buy or make bags that can be reused for groceries, choose boxes that can be used for storage or use a vintage silk scarf that can be worn again or regifted.
Ready to think outside the box and shop sustainably this Valentine's Day? Hope you all have a wonderful day celebrating and spreading love!