This Valentine’s Day, you can show your loved one how much you care by taking a more personalized, eco-friendly approach with the gifts you intend to give and the activities you plan to schedule. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be the commercialized holiday it has become over the years. Instead of opting for a store-bought greeting card, a box of heart-shaped chocolates or an expensive dinner at a local restaurant, consider doing one or more of these four eco-friendly things for and with your loved one:
1. Traditional Greeting Card Alternative: If you want to get your loved one a card to express your romantic sentiments, opt for a Valentine’s Day e-card. There are also greeting cards, stationery and confetti embedded with seeds you can buy if you’d rather give a physical card than a virtual one. With these particular cards or confetti jars, you can choose from a variety of flower seeds, herb seeds or vegetable seeds.
Now, how fun would it be to get a card or a little confetti jar filled with seeds you can plant? The nice thing is, any other packaging materials the company uses are plant-based, compostable or recyclable.
Of course, you can also buy recyclable cards or make your own using recycled materials. In many cases, it’s the personal effort and attention to detail you put into your gift that makes the most impact.
2. DIY Spa Products: Speaking of making your own…this DIY Valentine’s Day organic rose scrub is a simple, but heart-felt way to show you care. There are also no shortage of DIY recipes you can find online for facial scrubs or masks, body lotions and butters, soaps, cleansers and massage oils. The sky is the limit. All you need to do is find a particular fragrance or products your loved one might like, search for an organic option and then do-it-yourself.
3. Home-Cooked Meal: Take the time to make your own meal so you and your loved one can eat in, rather than hassle with the crowds and impersonal settings most restaurants offer. Creating your own Valentine’s Day meal doesn’t have to be difficult. Making a home-cooked meal is also a much healthier alternative as you can use organic foods and create any number of vegetable, vegan or healthy options your loved one is sure to enjoy. Here is a sample Valentine’s Day meal, complete with recipes for an appetizer, cocktail, main dish and dessert:
- Appetizer: Pita chips with a colorful beet hummus with cilantro and feta
- Cocktail: Grapefruit-Cranberry White Wine Spritzer
- Main dish: Valentine’s Day pizza with beets and kale (If you don’t like that, another main dish option is stuffed peppers. You can pick from one of these 12 stuffed pepper recipes or create your own.
- Dessert: Vegan strawberry and rose tartlets
4. Exercise Together: As February is American Heart Month, what better way to take care of yourself and your loved one than by combining exercise and romance? Exercise is a proven way to lower one’s stress level, reduce signs of depression, increase heart health and release endorphins, all of which can put you and your partner in a happier and more romantic mood.
Rather than going out to eat or doing a more “traditional” Valentine’s Day celebration, plan a walk, hike or bike ride for you and your loved one. You could also opt for a couples’ yoga session or take a dance lesson to help get you in the mood.
One of the nicest things about these ideas is you can do each one anytime you’d like. You don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to come around, nor do you have to limit your eco-friendliness to one day a year. These ideas are good year-round, so enjoy!
Handmade heart image by Michael Gil, seeded paper cards image by Amy, heart-shaped cheesecake with raspberries image by Sierra Michels Slettvet and walking in February image by Erik Brockdorff, all through Flickr Creative Commons license. DIY organic rose scrub image from Pulp Nature.