Spread the Love This February

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Valentine's Day could not come at a better time as the world could use a celebration of love. But instead of just one day dedicated to spreading love, why not an entire week?

The Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation is gearing up for its 17th annual Random Acts of Kindness Week, which will be observed February 12-18, with National Random Acts of Kindness Day designated as February 17.

RAK week seeks to remind individuals to seize opportunities to be kind and that kindness is key when it comes to making the world a better place. Here are a few examples of what people have done from the RAK website: an 8-year-old girl donated towels to a local animal shelter, brought food to local law enforcement, and raised $1,000 for victims of a tsunami; two friends got together and decided to pay for someone's groceries, they had so much fun they did it again two weeks later and it eventually turned into the Pittsburgh Kindness Initiative; and a teacher created a club at school whose mission was dedicated to spreading messages of love and kindness, each day students write positive messages on Post-it notes, leaving them on students' lockers for encouragement.

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Whatever you decide to do, remember, no act of kindness is too small or too big. You never know the impact you could have on someone just by a simple gesture.

To find more inspirations on how you can participate in Random Act of Kindness Week, click here. On this site you can pledge to take part in the challenge.

Also, use #RAKWeek2017 to spread the word on social media and share what acts of kindness you're performing.

So while you are thinking of ways to spread kindness, remember that there are ways to be kind to the planet, too. Here are a few Valentine's Day specific ideas:

1. Potted Plants

Instead of purchasing cut flowers that won't last more than a week, consider buying potted plants that will last much longer and they help the environment by producing oxygen for the air!

2. Eco-Friendly Chocolate

Chocolate is an especially popular commodity around Valentine's Day; however, not all chocolate is the same, environmentally speaking.

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As you know, chocolate is made with cocoa, a plant that naturally thrives under the shade of canopy trees within rainforests. Due to the high demand of cocoa, farmers are cutting down forests and planting hybridized cocoa trees that grow in full sun and produce massive amounts of cocoa.

This practice is destroying crucial wildlife habitats, threatening farm communities, and producing chemical run-off that contaminates local soil, streams, and waterways.

Chocolate that has the designated Rainforest Alliance Certified Seal comes from farms that protect shade trees, plant native species, maintain wildlife corridors, and conserve natural resources. These farms also reduce the use of pesticides by depending on biological and natural alternatives, and are prohibited from using banned pesticides. So by purchasing sustainable products like eco-friendly chocolate, you are contributing to helping save our environment.

Learn where you can purchase Rainforest Alliance Certified products by clicking here.

3. Homemade Valentine's Day Cards

homemade, valentine's day, card, environment, planet, planet aid, loveThere are approximately 180 million cards exchanged around the world on Valentine's Day, that's a lot of paper and can you imagine how many of them are thrown away?

This year, make your Valentine's Day cards at home. This will save tons of paper and the personal touch helps to show that it truly comes from the heart. For DIY card ideas, click here.