Valentine's Day. It’s the time of year when roses are received from a secret admirer, gifts are exchanged between friends and couples in love enjoy romantic candle-lit dinners. On the other hand, plenty of couples ignore the over-commercialized holiday and do nothing… Or feel forced to do something.
Whatever your opinion of the holiday is, please love the earth and have an eco-friendly celebration! We’ve pulled together 5 tips for you:
- Look for recycled paper Valentine’s Day cards or create a handmade one. Around a billion Valentines are sent each year globally, making the day the 2nd largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas. NOT including cards exchanged in classrooms between children, 180 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged in the U.S. alone. Plenty of crafty spots have some great ideas for recycled paper cards. (like Pinterest) I especially like this idea from Merriment Design that uses recycled security envelopes!
- Giving flowers? Look for locally-grown or pesticide-free organic buds. It’s easy to find some local flowers at your neighborhood farmer’s market. The NC Farm Fresh website lets you search by product (like “cut flowers” or “roses”) in your area of North Carolina or for nurseries and garden centers near you. The FlowersFor Good line by Organic Bouquets will send 5% of your purchase to selected nonprofit charities. You can also shop through Goodsearch and get 25% off your Valentine’s gift AND a donation will be made directly to NCGreenPower!
- Not a flower person? How about a rose bush or a potted plant! Instead of traditional flowers for Valentine's Day, give a potted plant from a local supplier. Just as beautiful and lasts much longer. An estimated 120 liters of water (about 32 gallons) is used to produce a dozen roses. Plant a rose bush instead - You'll conserve water and save money. WIN-WIN
- If chocolate is his/her weakness, be socially responsible and make a smart choice. Send your sweetheart organic fair trade chocolates this V-day. Visit Equal Exchange Coop to learn more about organic sweets. You probably also have a local chocolatier in your city!
- Raleigh – Escazu ArtisanChocolates, Videri ChocolateFactory
- Charlotte – TwentyDegrees Chocolates, TheSecret Chocolatier, Bar Chocolate
- Wilmington – Kilwins, DeeLee’s Delights, South’n France
- Asheville – FrenchBroad Chocolates, The ChocolateFetish
- Greensboro – OnceUpon a Chocolate, Loco forCoco
Remember to consider your loved one along with the environment with your Valentine’s Day purchases this year. Natural fragrances, soy candles and dinner at home are also some great ideas! Taking a trip? Green up a vacation with your loved one and donate to NC GreenPower carbon offsets for your trip.
And during the month of February, donate$36 on behalf of a loved one and your valentine will receive and NC GreenPower local organic cotton tee shirt! Give $48, and we’ll send you a t-shirt, too!