Celebrate Valentine's Day the Green Way
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and many people are scrambling to find their loved ones a gift. But did you know that all those gifts can have a negative impact on the environment?
Every year, people buy millions of cards and flowers, nearly all of which end up in the trash. It’s not just the waste that’s a problem either; a lot of resources are spent in producing the cards, flowers, and candies we consume for Valentine’s Day.
This year, let's make this pink and red holiday a little greener by cutting back on waste and buying from sustainable, ethical sources.
Here is a list of some of the most popular gifts and their greener alternatives:
Just about everyone loves receiving a big box of delicious chocolates, but that sweet dessert often comes at a high price for the farmers who grow the cocoa. When choosing sweets for your sweetie, try to buy from companies that sell organic, fair trade chocolate that comes in eco-friendly packaging. The fair-trade label ensures that growers are paid a fair wage and that growing practices are less harmful to the environment.
The 100 million roses grown for a typical Valentine’s Day in the U.S. produce 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions during the shipping process. That’s a lot of damage for a gift that won’t even last a week! Choose instead to buy locally grown flowers, so as to minimize the carbon footprint. And, if you really want to go green, you can buy your sweetheart a potted plant. That way, you can even watch it grow together.
Many jewelry commercials will have you believe that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. That may be true, but those commercials leave out the truth about the conflict associated with diamonds and the jewelry industry. Diamonds have been linked to some pretty serious wars and human rights violations throughout the world, not to mention the ecological impact of industrial jewelry mining, which includes erosion and water pollution as well as a sizeable carbon footprint.
On Valentine’s Day, people exchange more than 180 million cards! That’s a lot of love going around, but it’s also a lot of paper! Instead of buying cards for your loved ones this year, take the time to make a card from recycled paper and materials. It will be more personal and you’ll be helping to protect our natural resources. Check Pinterest for homemade card ideas that your valentine is sure to appreciate.
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