Go Green: Valentine's Day
- Tuesday, 09 February 2010
There's nothing quite like the romance of Valentine's Day. Detractors say it's overly commercial and blame greeting card companies for all the hoopla, but one day of romance each year isn't too much to ask, is it? The only problem with Valentine's Day is it can be a quite wasteful day. But with a few modifications to the usual traditions, your Valentine's Day can be romantic and gentle on the planet.
Here are Naturally Savvy's 5 tips for a Green Valentine's Day:
Just Say No to Cards
Saccharine cards that cost double what they're worth aren't exactly my idea of a way to say, 'I love you.' This Valentine's Day, leave the gaudy cards on the shelf and think of an alternative. Try a cookie with 'I love you' written on it, or write your sweetheart a love letter (way more personal, even if it is still a paper product).
Pick the Fairest Flowers
The cut flower industry is riddled with cases of ill-treated workers, and flower growers often rely on pesticides, herbicides and insecticides to grow as many salable blooms as possible—and all those chemicals aren't good for the planet. Choosing fair trade flowers is one way to ensure the people who grew your flowers were treated fairly and earned a livable wage, and organic flowers is also great for the planet. But if you can't afford the extra cost, consider a potted flower or plant instead.
Get Sentimental with Homemade Gifts
Romance can mean many things, but it should always be personal. Taking the time and effort to make Valentine's Day all about homemade gifts—rather than an impersonal box of chocolates—is always appreciated. If your special someone has a sweet tooth, make him or her some homemade truffles or cookies or another favorite treat.
Slip into Sustainable Lingerie
If you want to surprise your sweetheart with sexy lingerie, it's getting easier to choose sustainable unmentionables. Look for natural fibers such as organic cotton or silk, or consider lingerie made from recycled cotton or polyester. Brands that offer eco-friendly unmentionables include Buenostyle, GreenKnickers, and Enamore.
Choose a Natural Love Glove
Safe sex is always important. When it comes to condoms, sustainable options are easier than you might think. Latex condoms are typically derived from trees, so they have natural origins, but they aren't biodegradable. Vegans who want to avoid the added casein (a milk protein) found in most latex condoms have one option: Gylde condoms. If you want a completely natural option and are using condoms only as a contraceptive, lambskin condoms are a completely biodegradable option—just remember that they don't protect against STDs, so they should only be used if you're in a long-term monogamous relationship (and you and your partner should be regularly tested for STDs just in case).