We often think of Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to spread love to the people who matter the most in our lives but why not express your love for the planet too. It can be as simple as asking for and/or giving zero waste gifts like one of our personal favorites, spending time outdoors + spa treatments!

Every year the environment takes a hit when we celebrate Valentine’s Day traditions. Did you know that chocolate and flower growing producers are among the largest users of pesticides? If you appreciate these gifts don’t fret, there are earth friendly solutions we can all implement as new traditions for the holiday.

Roses are red…

Valentine’s Day falls during the coldest time of the year, so roses (a warmer weather flower) have to be flown in from the southern hemisphere. Once they make it to the U.S., these flowers are transported across the country in refrigerated trucks and then delivered to individual homes and offices via messenger services. All in all, the 100+ million roses that make this journey produce 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. While roses grown stateside (California produces domestic roses) are a better option, the methods used to grow and keep the roses cool are energy inefficient.  Further, the roses grown in the USA must still be shipped to your state and will later have to be delivered via courier. As a general rule, the delivery of roses is an exercise in carbon creation which not only pollutes the atmosphere, but also serves to expand your personal carbon footprint.​

 

The Alternative

Opt for more resilient flowers that don’t require refrigeration at such low temperatures and that are grown closer to home. Lilies and birds of paradise from the Caribbean can withstand warmer weather for longer periods. Another eco-friendly idea is an orchid plant that can live for weeks and months (i.e. it won’t end up in the garbage after a few days), plus it will help clean the air of carbon dioxide and other toxins.

Because who doesn’t love chocolate?

Most chocolate is still made using palm oil, and the cultivation of these palm trees leads to deforestation and the destruction of animal habitats. Most of the world’s cacao is also grown outside the USA, in remote locations in West Africa and Latin America. To make chocolate, the cacao beans must be shipped to the manufacturer for confection production. It is then packaged for sale. That heart-shaped box later ships out to retail locations near you. Add in the other ingredients (such as cane sugar, vanilla and milk) and you’ve got the equivalent of six ounces of CO2 that result from the production and making of one single chocolate bar.

The Alternative

​If your heart’s set on gifting sweets, make sure you do your research regarding the products to buy. Look for chocolate brands that are made with organic ingredients, don’t contain chemical additives, have limited packaging, and include more than 35 percent cacao in the final product. https://www.terrapass.comAnother great way to still provide self-care and share your love for the people that matter most + the planet is to measure your carbon offsets with a Carbon Offset Calculator. Carbon offsets make environmental and economic sense. With them, you can counteract your personal carbon emissions aka your carbon footprint. So if you’ve already planned a trip for you and your honey this weekend, enjoy your trip! You can evaluate ways to offset your carbon footprint during or even after the trip.

These solutions ensure a more sustainable future for all of us. Spreading love for the planet can still be done without sacrificing existing traditions and the expression of love to others. The alternatives merely set a new tone for what Valentine’s Day can mean to us and our appreciation + love for the earth.

 

 

 

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