Celebrate A Safe and Sustainable Valentine's Day!
More than 124 million adults in the United States celebrated Valentine’s Day in 2018, exchanging a combined 36 million heart-shaped boxes, 180 million greeting cards, 198 million roses, 881 thousand bottles of sparkling wine and 58 pounds of chocolate. This generates more CO2 than driving around the world 3,500 times and ultimately creating paper and packaging waste that weighs more than 4,000 hybrid cars. Whoa!
Despite all these facts, Valentine’s Day is still one of my favorite holidays. Yes, consumerism is there, but so is showing affection and appreciation to those I love. We love giving experiences to our loved ones instead of physical gifts, but sometimes flowers and perfume are just the right way to say I love you. So, whether you're sending Valentines to your kids’ classmates or trying to find a gift for your eco-minded husband or girlfriend, we have tips and swaps to help make sure Mother Nature feels the love as well.
Safe & Sustainable Spins On Traditional Gifts
There are so many other ways to say I love you than a card bought at a grocery store that is going to eventually end up in the trash. Opt for e-cards or even have a craft afternoon and hand make them instead! Pinterest has lots of great ideas. We love these adorable seed cards or these seed paper ones.
Everyone loves flowers, but the environmental impact isn’t very lovable. In the three weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, thirty cargo jets fly from Colombia and Ecuador to Miami, transporting more than 15,000 tons of flowers in less than a month. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The International Council on Clean Transportation crunched the numbers last year and estimated that those three weeks of flower delivery flights burn approximately 114 million liters of fuel, emitting approximately 360,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Who just lost that loving feeling?!?!
Luckily there are SO many other options to say I love you with a lower carbon footprint. When searching for flowers seek out local florists. Our friends at MossFlower have great recommendations. Don’t be afraid to open a dialogue with a local florist to find out more about their sourcing practices, things like plastic and foam are constantly used in the industry.
Another substitute is buying a potted plant, we recommend something hardy like a succulent (maybe a card that says stuck on you) or a snake plant so even the worst plant caretaker (that’s Kara) can keep the love alive!
Spread love not just with sustainability but consider safer products too. Perfumes and colognes are one of the most common V-day gifts, and many are filled with ingredients that are harmful to our health, including Phthalates (commonly in the fragrance), Limonene, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate and more. Check out EWG Fragrance list to see where your perfume lands. Or try a few of our favorites.
It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without a chocolate treat. Skip the Hershey kisses and look for chocolate with Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance or UTZ certifications. They make sure that companies are following certain guidelines to provide you with ethical goods. Trader Joes, Sprouts, and Whole Foods all have great options. Another great way to enjoy chocolate is by shopping at a local direct-trade chocolate shop, here is a great list.
However you choose to celebrate this special day, we hope it's filled with good health and happiness with you and those you love!