Choose local flowers
Imported flowers need to be flown or trucked in from states away, AND refrigerated during their journey, so we definitely recommend picking up your loved one flowers or a flowering plant from a local shop or one of the NC Farm Fresh retail nurseries and garden centers. Store-bought, imported flowers usually come wrapped up in cellophane — which is not recyclable.
Buy local chocolates
There are so many lovely places for you to purchase fair trade, eco-friendly chocolate! In Raleigh, choose from Videri Chocolate Factory or Escazu Chocolates; Charlotte has Twenty Degrees Chocolates and The Secret Chocolatier; in Western NC check out French Broad Chocolates (and ice cream!) and in the Triad, try Loco for Coco Gourmet Chocolates. Don’t live near one of these? Look for a sustainable brand in your grocery store or online at Amazon.com, like Alter Eco, Theo Chocolate, Endangered Species or Green & Black’s.
Make your Valentine a card
Scraps of paper lying around your office or home are an excellent way to tap your DIY skills and make cards for your loved ones. Not only does it check off the “reuse” box, but it shows the extra effort you took to hand make a card. But please, leave off the glitter so you can recycle it later!
Use eco-friendly gift wrapping
For any size gift, look for wrapping paper that is made from post-consumer waste or make sure it’s recyclable, like brown kraft paper. Alternatively, you can skip wrapping and place your gift in a reusable cloth bag or reuse and decorate a cardboard box.
Just do something!
You don’t have to buy a gift to celebrate love and friendship. Visit a restaurant who sources locally farmed foods. Check out a museum or park in the area. Enjoy the company of an older relative. Spread the love this Valentine’s Day while supporting a greener planet!