Make Your Valentine’s Day Green Instead of Pink!

By: Willa Neale, KAB Intern

Looking for ways to spoil that special someone without having to compromise your environmentally friendly lifestyle? Here’s a guide to make this holiday as sustainable and enjoyable as possible.

The Gift
Finding the perfect present for a significant other is difficult on any occasion, but we have found some ideas that will really charm your loved one. Try one of these green gifts that you can feel good about giving, show someone how much you care, and reducing your impact on the environment.

Customize A Favorite Reusable Item
Purchasing something that can be used every day is a practical idea for the one you love. Getting travel mugs or water bottles with their name or favorite quote printed on them shows that you put thought into a gift that will be useful & customized to them. Embroidering initials or names onto reusable shopping bags is another inexpensive way to promote a green lifestyle.
Flowers
A Valentine’s Day classic, but with a new twist! Over 400 million dollars was spent in the US on cut flowers by couples wanting to show their love through bouquets of roses and carnations. Days later, these beautiful arrangements are tossed in the garbage without a second thought. Instead of buying into the cut-flower tradition, consider purchasing a potted flower or plant instead. Flowers such as “Just-add-ice” Orchids are low maintenance, but will brighten up a kitchen or office for months to come. You may also want to consider a small window sill herb garden or a few small succulent plants that everyone can enjoy. Flowers and plants could be a thoughtful present!

valentines-day-orchidImage found at http://www.justaddiceorchids.com/orchid-care-blog/topic/just-add-ice-orchids
Chocolate
You can even take your dedication to having a green Valentine’s Day to the next level by purchasing organic or free trade chocolate. It just isn’t Valentine’s Day without the chocolate, and many companies have been answering the call for an alternative choice. Visit Equal Exchange to learn more about your Free Trade options.
The Date
There are many ways to cut down on your waste and carbon footprint this Valentine’s Day while still enjoying your special date.

Skate, Walk, Hike or Ride a Bike Together
Akron weather is unpredictable, but there are still many outdoor options for you and your sweetheart to enjoy together this year. Bundle up and get some fresh air at one of Akron’s outdoor ice skating rinks or stroll the Towpath Trail on foot or bike. Enjoy a break from the indoors and get some fresh air together. Imagine the gas you’ll save and emissions you’ll reduce!

Cook a Meal Together
Instead of going out to eat, take some extra time making a meal together. You can make a day of it from meal planning, to hitting up the grocery store for those organic or local ingredients (don’t forget about indoor farmer’s markets during the winter!) to preparing the meal and finally, planning how to compost scraps or leftovers. Oh yeah, and eating the meal of course!  Being able to cook your own meal helps ensure you cook only what you will eat, reducing the amount waste you produce.
Don’t Forget!
Don’t forget to recycle your greeting cards, boxes, tissue paper and anything else you may have collected throughout the day. For a guide of what can and cannot be recycled in Akron visit http://www.akronohio.gov/cms/public_works/recycling/index.html

recycle v day

Image found at https://www.pinterest.com/planetpals/valentine-crafts-and-ideas/

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