Photo by Noah Buscher | Source: Unsplash

Valentine’s Day is for sure a special day where people show their loved ones how much they care, but it can prove a real disaster to the environment. For example, picture the millions of cards that get laminated with plastic and glazed with litter that is sent every year just on this one day. They are received, read, cherished for perhaps a day, then discarded in the trash only to pile up in landfills. Or what about beautiful rose bouquets that pollute the water, soil, and air with agrochemicals used to mass-produce them? Below are some tips to not only show love for your friends and family but to Mother Nature as well!

1. Rethink your choice of chocolate

Instead of simply choosing a random box at the last minute from the closest convenience store, why not try planning in advance to purchase some delicious and wholesome local, fair trade, organic chocolates. By doing this, you support fair wages for workers and farmers responsible for the growth and manufacturing of chocolate in safe working conditions implementing methods that are environmentally friendly.

2. Deliver cards that literally bloom

Many paper-based cards are considered recyclable in the modern-day. However, this is not the case if they are made with plasticized paper or covered in various embellishments like ribbons and glitter. Despite the fact there is nothing more precious than a handwritten note, it's possible to write on cards that blossom into gorgeous wildflowers. The best part is that many of these particular blooming cards are created with recyclable materials.

3. Substitute plants for bouquets

Why waste money on a bouquet when you can simply get the whole plant instead? By purchasing the plant, the flower will last much longer and make any room cozy and bright without existing an environmental hazard. Unfortunately, even the industry of flowers has a dark side. Carbon emissions produced by cut-flowers extend as high as 3kg for each individual unit. Furthermore, the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides poisoning pollinators and polluting groundwater worsens the problem.

4. Donate to a cause and spread love

Rather than indulging in expensive nightlife or exchanging physical gifts, think differently this year by donating to an animal shelter or environmental cause in the name of your loved one.You can even go further and rescue an animal to surprise your partner with a fluffy kitty or adorable dog. What showcases love more than a cuddly pet?

5. Organic dinner date

A fancy, expensive dinner with lit candles is so cliché. Instead, try an organic, fresh, and home-cooked dinner for two made entirely from scratch. This effort will have your loved one giving you all the brownie points. Help the planet even further by shopping for local produce, supporting farm fresh and organic products instead of those from big box stores, filling the kitchen with wondrous aromas from hand-picked ingredients. Lastly, consider the use of wheat straws in your romantic beverage to serve to a partner.

6. Support local bakeries

There is a direct correlation between love and baked goods. When sharing a cupcake, you really share love, for this confectionary is decadent, sweet, and something you should definitely purchase from a baker. As small brick-and-mortar businesses have struggled significantly in recent times, it helps to support neighborhood bakeries that produce organic cookies, vegan cakes, and much more.

7. Ethical buying decisions

It's about time that consumers think twice before making a purchase. It simply involves performing some basic research ahead of time, and that's where people start on the path to conscious living and sustainability. Buy the gifts for loved ones, yet shop ethically to make it better. One of the best purchasing ideas includes eco-fashion products that foster change towards greater sustainability and address the materials that go into textiles.

8. Wrap your gift in nature

Ditch those ribbons, papers, and sticky tapes by wrapping your gift with material straight out of nature. Consider the use of recyclables like reusable cloth bags, brown paper, and natural string to deliver a gift to both your loved one as well as the environment. The planet will thank you later.

9. Don loving attire, together

With the abundance of print-on-demand stores, you can wear any type of love anywhere you go. Furthermore, many stores even allow customers to customize beautiful tees for both themselves and their partners. Get goofy, get creative, or just be a hopeless romantic. Print a favorite quote from a book, a witty pun, an inside joke, or a beloved line from a song. Make it fun, make it personal, and do it on 100% organic cotton that is certified for fair trade and super soft in texture.

10. Support artists in your local area

What is art, if nothing more than an expression of love? How do you feel about supporting good people who create such art? Book an online painting class, order customized paintings, or get in touch with local musicians and personalize new tunes. There is so much space for local talent. Provide them the opportunity to make your Valentine's Day even more romantic.