Love is in the air- the humid, warm, sticky air. With it means Valentines day, a time for dates, love, treating yourself (and hopefully the environment) right. Whether you have plans this February 14th with a loved one, your friends, or even by yourself, here are some tips and tricks to make your Valentines a more sustainable one.
Skip the card- or make your own!
Valentine’s day is one of the largest days for the card industry, and takes some of the worst tolls on the environment. Though you may not be able to take on this multi-million-dollar industry, you can remove yourself from the equation and personalize your own card yourself (and doesn’t that mean more anyways?
By recycling and revamping old cards to give you’re able to create a more personalized gift and minimize your personal footprint.
Have you ever tried to get a reservation on Valentine’s day? Me either, but I hear it’s hard as heck. Skip the lines and the cost by cooking your own labor of love meal at home.
Living in Austin, it’s fairly easy to plastic-free bulk buy ingredients to use not only for a special meal, but for your everyday meals. By taking some reusable bags and containers (burlap sacks, mason jars, tins, etc) to your local grocery store such as HEB or Central Market you can reduce your amount of single-use plastic waste by buying spices, vegetables, etc. in your own take-home containers.
Want to go a step further? Visit your local farmers market. This not only guarantees fresh produce but supports local businesses and farmers, cuts down on transportation costs, and gives you a reason to spend time outside on a weekend morning…maybe on a date!
Warmer weather means flowers, and in my experience everyone loves flowers. (Yes, everyone.) However most flowers in the U.S. tend to be grown and shipped overseas. Though you might consider forgoing the bouquet (maybe draw them a picture of flowers?) There are sustainable practices you can use while shopping for some.
Go local. A common theme in this article, but it’s true! By going through your local florist you can purchase some locally grown flowers. Not only is this better for the environment but it offers a chance to spread some love to your regions flora and fauna. When purchasing these flowers, go a step further by asking your florist to wrap them up in butcher paper instead of plastic. This not only cuts down on plastic waste but provides a beautiful, sustainable, rustic look to your fresh cuts.
Use your talents
The most heartfelt thing (and sustainable) that you could do is utilizing what God gave you. Sing a song, write a poem, make some art. Valentines are what you make, if anything it’s just a day. Time and effort spent is what makes it special.
By Lorna Probasco ’20