#LoveOurPlanet this Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day evokes images and thoughts of love and romance. From a little known saint, Valentine's Day as we know it traces its origins a replacement to the ancient Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia. The love connection took off after a 1375 when the English poet Geoffery Chaucer penned "Parliament of Foules," giving us images of little cherubs and arrows to choose a mate. Enter the modern greeting card, chocolate, and flower industries to create a marketing bonanza.

As thoughts of love fill the air, it is a good day to think of how to #loveourplanet. Make no mistake, Valentine's Day is about consumption. The National Retail Federation estimates Americans will spend a record $27 billion to express their love. Now, there is no need to be a kill joy in order to show a little love to planet Earth.

Show The Earth Some Love

First, start with the basic concept of reduce, reuse, and recycle. If you are planning a romantic dinner out, think of repurposing that red Christmas dress instead of buying another. Thrift stores are great places to look for a purse and other accessories.

Before you toss away those greeting cards, think recycle. You might think one card won't matter much, but multiply that by the 190 million cards sent that day. Better still, think reuse. That lovely heart-shaped candy box will make a nice place to save those special cards and other keepsakes.

Do You #LoveOurPlanet?

Here are some other ways to #LoveOurPlanet and makes Valentine's Day special.

  1. Plant a tree with your spouse, significant other, or children. This can be a loving activity that will also help clean our air, filter our drinking water, purify our soil, and provide a home to our animal friends. It is also good economics. Forestry provides more than 1.6 billion people with jobs.

  2. Save the bees. Bumble bees might be as close to cupid as any creature. However, bees are disappearing at an alarming rate, with some regions experiencing losses as high as 90 percent. Instead of roses, think about planting wild flowers to attract bees.

  3. Dim the lights. Switch your lightbulbs to dimmable LED lights. You will save energy and enhance the mood for Valentine's night.
  4. Save water. Simple things like turning off the tap when you are brushing your teeth, showering instead of taking a bath, and installing low-use shower heads.

  5. Go paperless. Banks, cell phone companies, utilities, and other monthly bills can be easily switched to the convenience of online.

  6. A romantic stroll. If you live in an urban area, think of dinning at a restaurant in walking distance. If you need to drive for all those Valentine preparations, think of ride sharing and public transportation. You will reduce CO2 emissions and safe yourself stress.

  7. Eat less meat. The global food system is a major driver of climate change. Eating less red meat and making other dietary changes could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 29 percent.

So this Valentine's Day, let's #LoveOurPlanet.