Valentine’s Day is what many would call a “Hallmark holiday”.
Thanks to Family Day, we officially have a day off in February because as nice as Valentine’s Day is, it is not a statutory holiday. As much as it is about recognizing those we share our hearts with, it is also a bit of a marketing ploy encouraging us to spend more and consequently generate more waste.
Here are some tips to keep Valentine’s Day 2013 waste free, sustainable and all about the ones you love.
Say no to paper
Instead of purchasing paper cards, consider sending an e-card instead. This does not waste paper and ultimately has the same effect. In fact, if you’re going for the element of surprise, an e-card may actually work better because you can ensure it pops up in their email at anytime. However, if you need a card, make or purchase a recycled one.
You can never go wrong with flowers (okay, let’s be honest – I am speaking for me here) but be sure to ask your florist about the source of the flowers you’re about to buy. It is always best to purchase local, seasonal and pesticide-free flowers. Flowers shipped from distant countries not only have a significant carbon footprint but may also be subjected to toxic pesticides banned in Canada. Since nobody actually tests imported flowers for pesticide residues, there is really no way to know for certain whether or not they are pesticide free upon arrival. You can also look at Veriflora. Veriflora is a sustainability certification program for fresh cut flowers and potted plants. Simply search their site by province for a company that abides by their agricultural sustainability certification and eco-labelling program.
Looking for the perfect bottle of wine? Research organic wine sources, and support local growers if possible.
If plan on celebrating by going out to dinner, choose a restaurant that thrives on local, organic, and sustainable foods. The Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Program has made it easy to find restaurants that serve sustainable seafood across Metro Vancouver. Do some digging before you make your reservation!
There is really no shortage of organic and ethical chocolate options these days. Camino is always an excellent choice but Cadbury has also gone fair-trade. Whether you purchase a your favourite, trusted organic and ethical chocolate option or decide to try a new one – take comforting knowing that by purchasing fair-trade, you are helping developing nations establish themselves and move out of poverty.
Need more inspiration?
Check out our Valentine’s Day board on Pinterest for some great DIY, craft and baking ideas!