21st Century Valentine's Day

Updated: Feb 18

February 14th is coming up! This year, pamper your partner, your family, that someone special, or even yourself with gifts and experiences that say "I love you AND I love the planet".


Here are some eco-friendly ways to show your love on Valentine's Day :


LIVING PLANTS

I know cut flowers are tempting, but not only were those beauties grown in a hothouse (read: fossil fuels) and most likely shipped in a temperature-controlled truck (read: more fossil fuels), but they are wrapped in disposable plastic (read: even more fossil fuels). This Valentine's Day, opt for potted live plants instead. An easy-to-care-for houseplant in a clay pot is always welcome (visit your local garden store for a rainbow of possibilities).Live plants will continue to bloom and grow for years to come, just like your love.





A GARDEN

Do you or your loved one have a green thumb? Give the gift of native garden plants with a gift certificate from Bagley Pond Perennials in Warner. They will deliver live plants to your home in the Spring and even design a garden plan for you. Or, you could gift vegetable or flower seeds from High Mowing Organic Seeds in Vermont to be planted in the Spring.



CHOCOLATE

Love is a wonderful thing. Most chocolate sold today is not. Did you know most chocolates contain all sorts of unpronounceable and undigestible ingredients? If you are not buying Fair Trade chocolate, there is also a good chance you are contributing to unfair and unsafe working environments for people around the world.

And I haven't even gotten to the environmental repercussions of conventional, unsustainable farming techniques.

This year, show your loved one you love them and that you care for the Earth and your fellow human beings by buying Fair Trade and Organic certified chocolate. We usually stick to Endangered Species Chocolate and Lake Champlain Chocolates of Vermont for all our chocolate needs (I mean wants, ahem), but I was excited to learn about Loon Chocolate in Manchester and Mountain Maple Chocolate in Claremont. Both use ethically-sourced organic ingredients in their locally produced chocolate. I know what my family is getting this year!



EXPERIENCES AND TIME TOGETHER

Let's face it. A lot of holiday-themed stuff we give each other will be in a landfill before the year is out. This year, avoid anything that can only be used one day a year and especially anything that will only be used once (unless it is food or drink). Instead, give your loved ones an experience they will treasure.

Make dinner or a special dessert for your loved one on Valentine's Day or support a local restaurant. Commit to a weekly or monthly date night in a handmade card. Plan out a romantic getaway in New England (Amtrak has lots of deals right now for rail travel). Go for a hike together, catch a sporting event, or visit a museum. Join a new class either online or in person (cooking and dancing are particularly romantic activities, but, hey, anything can be romantic if you're with the right person). We have lots of other gift ideas here.



A SPECIAL NOTE TO PARENTS ABOUT THE 400 VALENTINES YOUR KIDS JUST TOLD YOU THEY NEED TO MAKE....


Current trends in the elementary classroom will have you thinking you need to send your child with a small plastic bag filled with candy and Valentine's Day trinkets that will get lost within an hour. Let's take back Valentine's Day! My kids make their own cards from whatever we have on hand - construction paper, markers, paint, old calendars, etc.


This year, my son wants to glue an organic chewy candy to each one. His Valentines are simple, but to the point. My daughter, who loves crafting, is sewing little pouches to fill with bulk jelly beans from the Concord Coop. You could also make cookies, brownies, or some other homemade treat.


GreenLifeNH wishes you a happy and eco-friendly Valentine's Day!


- Hannah





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