Happy Valentine’s Day, Planet Earth!
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. This romantic holiday is highly anticipated by some and dreaded by others. Either way, you can’t escape it. Retail stores are temporarily converted into romance factories lined top- to- bottom with red and pink candy, stuffed animals, clothing, bath sets, etc. It’s easy to get lost in the mess and blindly grab a gift to check that off your to-do list, but this year try a more conscious approach. Try something different that will not only stick out in your valentines mind, but also be eco-friendly. Here are some tips to try this year to change the monotony of the holiday.
Get outside! Don’t spend your money on an overpriced meal with hiked up holiday prices. Instead, do something different. Get outdoors by going on a hike or visit greenway or riverfront for a nice romantic walk and some fresh air. Take advantage of your local parks and nature centers. Plan a romantic picnic. You could even take a walk downtown and discover a new local coffee shop or store that you’ve never been to. This is a great way for you and your special someone to discover new things about your city and support local business too.
Support responsibly grown chocolate! If your valentine is a choco-holic and buying them the same ‘ol chocolate in the same ‘ol heart shaped box is getting old, then try something new this year and go for quality over quantity. There are tons of chocolate companies that ensure their chocolate is made sustainably and responsibly. These brands also offer a wide variety of flavor combinations that your valentine will be excited to try. You may have to venture out from your usual neighborhood grocery store, but your valentine is sure to appreciate the extra thought and effort.
Shop locally! Another great way to be eco-friendly this Valentine’s Day is to check out your farmers’ market for locally grown or made food and snacks. Whether you’re planning to whip up a surprise meal for your sweetheart or you’re taking SOCKET’S advice and planning a romantic outdoor picnic, buying local is the way to go! The average carbon footprint that food travels from production to its final destination, is 8 tons a year per household. Buying locally even once a week would significantly lower that number, so what better time to show the environment some love than Valentine’s Day?!
Think about those flowers you’re purchasing! Let’s address another Valentine’s Day staple, flowers. SOCKET knows that it’s very easy to grab a pre-arranged bouget of flowers at the grocery store and be done with it, but this year go ahead and make a change and buy from your local florist or farmers’ market! Not only are you supporting a local business but you also have a direct say in the design aesthetic of your bouquet. Many florists either grow their flowers themselves or purchase from local growers, significantly reducing the carbon footprint of your thoughtful gift! Not to mention the fact that industrial bred flowers are usually doused in pesticides and have a weaker scent than local flora. Go local this year or for a longer-lasting gift, buy a potted plant as a living, growing reminder of your relationship.
Try out an alternative to the traditional Valentine’s Day cards! Valentine’s Day cards are a pretty environmentally destructive holiday tradition, but luckily there are amazing alternatives. SOCKET’S favorite is plantable seed paper cards. Rather than letting your cards collect dust for years to come, or worse taking up space in a landfill somewhere, give plantable seed paper a try. These amazing, biodegradable cards allow you to simply bury them and watch the seeds grow into beautiful wildflowers
The jewelry dilemma! SOCKET’S last tip for a greener Valentine’s Day is to skip the pricey jewelry stores and look for vintage jewelry instead. The jewelry business is controversial in its practices and there are tons of beautiful second-hand gifts just waiting to be worn again. Giving vintage jewelry to your loved one adds to the romanticism of the gift, it already has a story to tell and yours is just waiting to be written.