Monday, January 31, 2011

8 Ways to Give Green Love on Valentine's Day

There's no doubt Valentine's Day has become big business and while we wholeheartedly support lavishing your love on what many call the most romantic day of the year, we've come up with eight eco-friendly Valentine's ideas to help do this with a dose planet-friendliness in mind.

To help put this holiday in perspective, here are some interesting consumption facts, according to American Greetings.
  • After Christmas, Valentine's Day is the second largest card-sending holiday with around one billion cards sent globally. One billion cards stretched end to end would wrap around the world five times!
  • Over 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold each year.
  • Valentine’s Day is the top holiday for fresh flower purchases with red roses being most popular.
  • 10% of engagements happen on Valentine’s day.
This kind of big business means a potentially big impact on the environment. Spreading a little love to the environment too could go a long way to lessening this impact. Here are eight ways to do it.
  1. Think less is more and you'll consume less. A small token of your love says just as much as that huge heart-holding polyester teddy bear that he or she will be wondering what to do with by the time July rolls around. For this holiday in particular, it truly should be the thought that counts.
  2. Choose eco-friendly gift options that not only show a little creativity on your part but are often healthier for the recipient too. Pink Recycled Skateboard Cufflinks and Heart Bike Bells are great for the planet. Chemical-free Scotch Naturals Kiltlifter Red Nail Polish and natural Aloe Jojoba Bubble Bath are healthy options for your love.
  3. For the chocolate lover, think organic chocolate - Denman Island Chocolate is one of our local favourites or better yet, go for a calorie-free chocolate flower growing kit.
  4. If you're preparing a meal, buy organic or locally grown produce and other foods and cut down the meal's carbon footprint. The same goes for choosing from a restaurant's menu.
  5. Buy organic or locally grown cut flowers - check out for a listing of florists in Canada carrying organic, fair traded flowers. If they're being delivered at work, hospital or anywhere else a vase might not be readily available, a great addition to help ensure they last is a collapsible, recyclable plastic flower vase.
  6. Consider sending an e-card instead of traditional card. is one of our favourite e-card sites.
  7. If you are a traditionalist (like many), choose a card made from recycled or tree-free paper or make your own card(s) with materials you already have in your home.
  8. If you're buying jewelry, consider local artisans or recycled materials first and jewelers who are certified to be sourcing precious metals and gemstones in an ecologically and socially responsible manner. While no form of mining can be considered truly environmentally friendly, some responsible mining companies are making an effort to ensure that damage to the environment is minimal, effluent properly managed, workers fairly treated and areas mined rehabilitated.
These are just a few ideas about enjoying an eco-friendly Valentine's Day. If you have any more or some general thoughts about Valentine's Day, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you! For more green living ideas, visit eco boutique Lavish & Lime.

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