Valentine's Day may be over and done with for 2015, but that doesn't mean it's too late to express your love for that special someone in your life. After all, we all enjoy receiving affection on any day of the year. And it might even be better when flowers aren't five times their usual price and you can actually get a table in a restaurant. So how can you say I love you anytime, while keeping it green? Here are some suggestions.
The Urban Earthworm has green holiday card suggestions, but they really do work well at any time of the year. Your first option when sending greener greetings is to go paperless. E-cards sometimes seem a little cheesy, but saving a tree makes up for it. You can also make your own cards out of materials you have on hand. If you opt to buy a card, look for post-consumer recycled content or the FSC logo to tell you that your cards are as sustainable as possible.
I recently wrote about choosing green chocolate. The upshot is that there are three certifications commonly used to indicate that your chocolate is more sustainable - fair trade, UTZ Certified and Rainforest Alliance. While they all have their pros and cons, any of them offer an advantage over opting for conventional chocolate. The good news is that more and more large companies are certifying their chocolate, so it's easier to find than ever. But keep in mind that organic certification is different from fair trade, UTZ or Rainforest Alliance, if that is important to you.
Much like food, many of the flowers that we buy are grown using pesticides and shipped long distance. This is especially true in the winter months. I live in Canada. Roses don't grow here in February. So what can you look for in sustainable flowers? When possible, buy local. When it isn't possible look for third-party certifications like fair trade. Some florists - and even some big grocery store chains - specialize in sustainable blooms, so ask questions. Here's more info on eco-friendly flowers.
Give Experiences, Not Things
Perhaps the best way to say I love you in an environmentally-friendly way is to give experiences instead of things. Spring for a sitter so that you and your main squeeze can enjoy a kid-free hike or bicycle trip. Take a class together. Give a massage. Write a poem. See a play or a movie. The options are endless, and at the end you won't have a pile of garbage as a reminder of your celebration.
How do you express your love and keep it green at the same time?