If the over-the-top sweetness of Valentine’s Day makes you cringe, the toll the holiday takes on the environment could really break your heart. It’s estimated that making and sending one store-bought, sparkly, red greeting card to someone you love produces 18.5 grams of carbon dioxide. With about 145 million cards exchanged in the U.S. each February 14, Valentine’s cards are creating one very large (heart-shaped) carbon footprint.
The holiday, however, doesn’t need to wreak havoc on the environment. In fact, with a few of our gift-giving and celebration tips, below, anyone can celebrate Valentine’s Day in an eco-friendly manner.
Create Your Own Cards: Buck the terribly wasteful trend of going to the store, buying a card and envelope and getting it to the mailbox to then have your mail carrier drive it to the post office, where it then has to travel another distance (either by truck or plane) to its recipient, where it will ultimately (sniff) end up in the trash. Skip a few steps and make your own cards from arts and crafts materials you already have in your house. And if you’re sending loving greetings far distances, opt for an online e-card— no paper waste and a negligible impact on the environment.
Gift Sweetly: Skip a trip to the store and the excessive, disposable packaging that comes with traditional Valentine’s Day chocolates, and bake up a few delicious goodies for your honey. Wrap your treats in red or pink fabric scraps and you’ll be gifting your love with a completely sustainable, sweet surprise. Here’s a great technique for easily creating heart-shaped cookies, or if you’re looking for something a little more decadent, here’s a step-by-step guide to DIY chocolate-covered strawberries.
Hike With Your Honey: The ol’ dinner and a movie trend is tired. Do something special for your sweetheart and take them on a romantic walk or hike. It won’t cost you a dime and Mother Nature will be more than pleased to show off her beauty for the two of you. If you’re looking for an all-natural, lover-friendly locale, here are some of the most romantic locations in Canada, plus a few tips to make your experience more amorous.