Valentine’s Day seems to be a marketing ploy, loading up on gifts, chocolate, and flowers — all designed to spend more and create more waste.

With that in mind, this consumer-driven holiday tends to also be pretty bad for the planet. Lots of money is spent on wasteful items, plenty of gag or one-time-use gifts, and flowers that don’t come from sustainable sources.

Here are some tips for keeping this Valentine’s Day waste free, along with plenty of other ideas to celebrate it sustainably.

Say no to paper cards

Instead of purchasing cards that, sure, might shed a brief tear, make a smile spread across a face, or get you a romantic kiss, consider delivering an e-version instead. This doesn’t waste paper, and, really, does the job just as well. Save the in-person gift in the form of a hug or kiss, instead.

But if you need a card…

If a printed card is absolutely necessary, make or purchase recycled ones instead. If you are choosing to hand make it, look for materials such as reclaimed paper, and cut and paste from old cards. If you must buy, there are many options made of recycled material.

Figure out the flowers

Flowers are a classic option, so be sure to ask your florist about the source of the flowers you’re about to buy, and look for those from local farmers. You can also order organic options from web sources such as Organic Bouquet.

The right drinks

Need a bottle of wine? Do a little research to find organic wine sources, and supporting local growers if possible. There are also plenty of choices for ethical champagne. If it is something vegan you are after, Barnivore is a great source for figuring out what alcohol is vegan.

The right food

If you’re celebrating by going out to dinner, look for restaurant choices that thrive on local, organic foods. Many areas often have at least a handful of restaurants that look toward local sources for their menus.

The right gifts

Nope, your boyfriend doesn’t need a gag gift that he’ll never use. And, honestly, your wife hates teddy bears. And those trinkets for the kids? They’ll be forgotten about in a couple of hours. Check out our links below to a load of ideas to bring the right gifts to the forefront this year.

Eat chocolate

When all else fails, there are plenty of organic and ethical chocolate options for you to munch on. Even Cadbury has gone fair-trade! Look for high-quality chocolate sources to satisfy that sweet tooth of yours.. and your lover’s. By purchasing fair-trade chocolate, you will help developing nations help establish themselves and move out of poverty.

Need some more inspiration?

If you need some other ways to spread the love this Valentine’s Day, check out these articles, too!

Top Four Eco-Valentine Gift Ideas for Her: for everyone from the culinary queen to just spending time in the bedroom.

Six Vegan Valentine’s Day Desserts: Nothing says love from desserts made with love. Sorbet, fondue, biscotti, and more!

Ideas for a Sustainable Valentine’s Day: our friends at Rainforest Alliance created a great green guide to gifts and activities especially designed for lovers to have an eco-friendly Valentine’s Day.

Top Four Eco-Valentine Gift Ideas for Him: after picking out the best gifts for her, here’s our follow-up for what to buy for your man this love-filled holiday.

Going Green on Valentine’s Day: Here’s another great green guide from Rainforest Alliance, perfect for promoting love, without promoting damage to the planet!

Sweetheart Vanilla Macaroons Dipped in Dark Chocolate: a yummy recipe that’s super easy to make… and it’s raw vegan, too!

Cheezy Fondue with Roasted Vegetables: round out a romantic meal with this perfect vegan dish designed for two.

Image courtesy of keetsa.com


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