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It’s that time of year when we are filled with emotion and love!  We can’t resist the urge to express it by lavishing Valentine’s Day gifts on our sweeties!

Or more accurately, red, white and pink everything is in your face just daring you to skip the holiday calling into question your love for your significant other! :-0

Now, now I don’t hate Valentine’s Day!  I actually think it’s a great excuse to make sure my husband and I get a date night planned – something we often neglect with three kids!

I’m not poo-pooing gifts either – I really like receiving flowers and candy.  Unfortunately, though, all of those goodies leave behind A LOT of trash!

I want to help you clean up the holiday with a few easy eco-friendly twists you can put on traditional Valentine’s Day gifts.

NOTE: I fully realize that you may need to share this list with your significant other ’cause I know I’m the one that really wants flowers and candy – not my husband!

BTW, when I asked my husband what he wanted for Valentine’s Day he said, “I’ll let you use your imagination.”  I guess there’s no need to buy him a heart full of chocolates! 🙂

Bouquet of Flowers

Receiving a bouquet of flowers is a special occasion for many – me included!  I love having fresh flowers arranged in a beautiful bouquet next to my bed.

I’m perfectly capable of grabbing a bunch of flowers but I seriously struggle with doing anything other than plopping them into a vase.  So, a beautifully arranged bouquet is a treat!

If you’re going to go with flowers (or suggest that someone get them for you!) do your best to find a florist that sources their flowers LOCALLY!

Until fairly recently I had no idea that flowers came from faraway places like Colombia and Ecuador!  Those flowers are going to require a lot of traveling – and a lot of fuel to get to you!

Flowers from a small, local farm are more likely to be grown in a more sustainable way (no harmful fertilizers or pesticides) and be better for the environment.

Read more about why local flowers rock HERE in “Lovely Local Flowers are Greener!”

My absolute favorite local florist here in the DC area is Little Acre Flowers!!  If you’re in the area check them out!

Chocolate Treats

Another one of those traditional Valentine’s Day gifts is, of course, chocolates.  While it’s not number one on my list I do love a delicious piece of dark chocolate.  Yummmm!

Instead of opting for a box of any old chocolate put in a teeny bit of extra effort and look for brands that are sustainably produced.  This means that the cocoa (used to make chocolate) is grown without the use of harmful fertilizers and pesticides.  It can also mean the cocoa is grown in way that conserves water.

To be sure the chocolate is eco-friendly look for chocolates with the Rainforest Alliance certification.  This certification ensures that the rainforest hasn’t been cleared to make way for unsustainable plantations.

And, it’s not just smaller companies committing to sustainable practices.  Some of the biggest (and most familiar) chocolate companies are starting to do their part.  Mars, Ferrero, Hershey and Nestlé, have committed to sourcing 100% certified cocoa by 2020.

Here are a few brands that are sustainably farmed, fairtrade and support other worthy causes.  They can be purchased online or in retailers like Whole Foods. (NOTE: I included what I thought sounded yummiest but most companies offer a wide variety of chocolate! :))

Endangered Species

Divine Chocolate

Alter Eco Foods

Greeting Cards

I don’t want to be a party pooper about cards but I’m going to!  :-0

I do appreciate them but after you read them they usually end up in the trash (or hopefully the recycle bin!).  You can only keep so many cards over the years, right?

Instead of a card record a Valentine’s Day video message instead!  It doesn’t get much more personal, right?!

Last year, my husband recorded the sweetest Mother’s Day message for me – and even got choked up doing it!  I can save it for years and years and enjoy it over and over.  And it creates ZERO trash!

Give it a try this year!!

Fun Lingerie

Let’s face it, lingerie is one of those traditional Valentine’s Day gifts, right?  At least that’s one thing I think of! :-0

In any case, you CAN purchase eco-friendly lingerie!  It’s stylish and sexy and comfortable too!

What makes it eco-friendly?  It could be that the cotton used is grown in a sustainable way (no harmful pesticides or fertilizers) or that bamboo is used (no it doesn’t make itchy, scratchy undies!) or that local suppliers are used to source materials like dyes.

Here are few brands to check out:

  

 

 

 

Romantic Dinner

Last but not least on the list of traditional Valentine’s Day gifts is a romantic dinner – which is one of my favorites!

It’s a nice chance to relax, enjoy good food, a glass of wine (or two) and reconnect with your spouse.

If you or your significant other enjoy cooking for or with each other, an easy eco-friendly twist is to hit the farmer’s market for all of your ingredients.  It ensures that less energy was used to transport the food and you can support local farmers.

While you’re at it, see if you can also find a bottle of wine from a local winery to top it off!

If going out is more your style, choose a restaurant that specializes in farm to table.  Where we live lots of these are popping up and I love it!!  It’s an easy way to support local farmers and local food without having to do the cooking!

Time to Celebrate!

I hope these swaps seem doable!  I really think with just a little bit of knowledge and a shift in perspective it can be SO easy to put a green twist on anything – even on a day filled with pink and red! 🙂

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