Tell me this. Why in the heck do you want a ginormous, 3-foot, stuffed in polyester, synthetic crap bear with a stitched on giant red heart? Like, really, I ask you. What are you going to do with it?
Let’s keep this Valentine’s Day beating its green heart with some really basic choices, and show the Earth and our future generations some love! Check out the post I did on Halloween about how cocoa-filled holidays can really spoil the planet. It’s pretty unreal what the numbers reveal. Roses are red, violets are blue, fives little tips can help the planet too:
- Toast to love: According to Statistics Canada, 505.4 million litres is the volume of all wines sold by liquor stores, agencies and other retail outlets in Canada in 2016 and 2017. That’s $7.2 billion worth! Just over 65% of red were imported. Let’s try to keep those numbers lower with local vintages. Hey, is it just me or are British Columbia and Niagara-on-the-Lake doing something about this? 🙂
- Break bread: You don’t need to go all Lady and the Tramp, but, hey, you could! Find a local restaurant that supports farm-to-table and sustainable practices. What a treat!
- Say no to plastic: Does this really need mentioning? You know what, I am gonna leave this here like this. Just keep those buying habits in check. If it has plastic, show it no love and put it down!
- Say no to roses: In 2017, $76.1 million was calculated as the value of cut roses and rose buds imported to Canada! Reread that. Opposed to normal months of the year, the month before Valentine’s has roses coming on their own cargo planes. That’s a lot of carbon emission being spewed into the air all the way from South America. That’s 12.4 million dozen of cut roses and rose buds imported to Canada in 2017, mostly from Colombia and Ecuador. I have not even listed the cons of pesticides, unethical work practices and the plastic wrapping. Instead, consider locally-grown flowers that were grown organically, or say no to flowers in general.
- Practical gifts with a twist: There was one year where my partner really wanted these nice trousers. They were a little pricier, so I made it a gift and we enjoyed a local bottle of wine that evening too! Done like dinner… oh ya, there was a nice dinner too!
Have little ones in your life? Let’s teach them the true act of love by showing generosity, kindness and respect and how love can be shown without materialistic items. Here is how we’re celebrating (and have celebrated) this sweet day in our house:
- Start the day off with delicious affection: Breakfast will be heart-shaped pancakes or pink food coloured French Toast.
- Surprise in their lunch: A love note or a homemade card goes a long way with kids. I still have some of the notes my mom used to put in my lunch!
- Sustainable Valentine’s cards: Music-playing, glitter-splattered, sequin-smothered cards are just plain out terrible for the planet. That’s not showing any love. Keep it to FSC-approved, handmade or repurposed. I have used old family photographs before! Just stop buying new greeting cards. Maybe consider some thrift finds like the set below.
- Bake some happiness: Baking together is a way to really bond. I love baking with my kids. We get messy. We lick spatulas. We laugh. Now imagine passing on that joy to teachers and friends.
Honestly, I don’t know about you, but I just love eating good food and drinking good, cold, local beer. It doesn’t take much to make me happy. And realistically, we don’t make a lot of money, you know, so we use our money smart! We save often, and when we do spend it, it’s wisely and we take in luxuries like dinner nights out. We even often pair up a lot of our holidays and anniversaries for one awesome night out or weekend out. Do you really need more stuff? Is this how we, as a first-world society, want to be known – as the people who give, what’s essentially, crap away? Let’s be the people who stand-up for something of substance and say no to nonsense, yes to the planet, and yes to more time together. Doing Valentine’s up like this is easy to do (you’re not really doing anything), so easy on your budget (you’re not really buying anything) and this couldn’t be any easier on Mother Nature if you tried.