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Green Valentine's Day

Alternatives to red roses


Green Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our love with that special someone. This year make it a green and eco-friendly Valentine's Day.

Candies and chocolates in heart-shaped boxes wrapped in unrecyclable cellophane and fancy ribbons are temptingly arranged on store shelves. Cupids on floating balloons smile their promises of love. But do you really want to support consumerism that simply creates more waste for our landfills?

Valentine’s Day originated in honour of numerous Christian martyrs named Valentine. Late in the High Middle Ages (AD 1000 to 1300), when the tradition of courtly love flourished in Europe, Valentine’s Day became associated with romantic love, and it became customary to exchange love notes called valentines.

Today an estimated 1 billion valentine cards are sent yearly worldwide, which makes Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday after Christmas. And where do all these cards inevitably end up?

Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our love with that special someone. Clever marketing is clearly showing us how we should express our love. But as consumers, we can choose to buy more wisely and invest our time in creating special memories rather than in creating bigger piles of garbage.

Fitting the pieces together

In that stack of photos you’ve taken over the years, you likely have a favourite one from a special occasion or a first event that you both took part in. Maybe you tried bungee jumping or water skiing or went hiking in the fog. Choose a photo of a memorable experience and have it made into a puzzle as a special surprise for your loved one. As the two of you fit the pieces of the photo puzzle together on Valentine’s Day, you’ll relive the memory of the meaningful event.

Tip: Nibbling on chocolate while puzzling makes for a particularly savoury experience.

Outdoor bonding

If you’re fortunate enough to live in a snowy region at this time of year, bundle up and go outside to build a heart of snow. One method is to shovel snow into a heart-shaped pile.

Another method is to create several balls of snow as if you were building a snowman and then roll the snowballs together into the shape of a heart. Leave a hole in the centre to indicate the piercing of Cupid’s arrow. Then you can snuggle up in the hole and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows to celebrate the fruits of your labour.

Tip: Substitute marshmallows with chocolate whipped cream and a touch of Baileys for an exotic flavour.

Let’s put the brakes on consumerism this year and focus on some green alternatives to express our feelings for our loved one.

Green ideas for valentine’s day

  • Candlelight dinner using clean-burning candles such as beeswax or soy wax
  • A bubble bath for two while enjoying a glass of organic wine
  • A sensual foot rub with almond oil


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