Love and Sustainability: Go Green this Valentine’s Day

Valentines day

With the hallmark of Hallmark holidays upon us, the pressure is building. This annual celebration of consumerism is the bane of sustainable and environmentally conscientious individuals everywhere. Americans spend about $3.4 billion on wasteful gifts like cards, candy, and stuffed bears, as reported by Investopedia.

Seattle residents are among the most eco-conscious folks in the nation, thus have a ton of options for avoiding this greedy grind. A haven of fair trade, organic retailers and charitable organizations, Seattle offers couples and singles ways to enjoy the tradition of Valentine’s Day without contributing to the wasteful customs associated with the holiday. Read on.

Eat local:

If you’re planning a romantic dinner for two, order organically. Instead of reserving a table at one of those big-business chain restaurants, support local business and head to a place like Tilth Restaurant on North 45th Street or Marjorie on East Union Street. Both are local favorites: Tilth offers seasonal American fare, all organic, while Marjorie is prime for fresh gourmet surf and turf.

Organic flowers:

Flowers are the staple of Valentine’s Day traditions. Naturally, these go-to gifts are biodegradable. However, you can go one step further this holiday and purchase your partner beautiful flowers from a company that is committed to supporting human rights and labor standards. Build a custom bouquet to reflect your loved one’s taste and represent the uniqueness of the relationship. Pre-designed Valentine’s Day flower bouquets are also a great idea for the lover of tulips, roses or Stargazer lilies. Then, when the bouquet starts to wilt, pressed flowers make beautiful memorabilia to immortalize a very special day.

Recycled Valentines:

Instead of buying a new gift, use recycled materials to craft one. Homemade vintage and old-fashioned valentines hold more meaning and allure for the eco-friendly Valentine. Construct a one-of-a-kind gift like homemade paper flowers, dried flower petals or scraps of fabric into heartfelt tokens of affection.

Fair Trade Chocolate:

Another Valentine’s Day tradition is chocolate. But no self-respecting conversationalist wants a box of carelessly crafted commercial candy. However, cocoa farming is tied to some very questionable environmental and ethical issues, so choose wisely. Theo Chocolate in Seattle roasts their own organic, fair trade certified cocoa beans, and create 70 percent cacao dark chocolate indulgences.

Date with a purpose:

The Friends of the Conservatory is hosting a romantic wine and cocktail tasting event on Valentine’s Day for couples to congregate under the starlit houses of the Volunteer Park Conservatory. The experience includes delightful cocktails concocted with spirits from The Hardware Distillery, a local craft distiller specializing in whiskies, bee’s knees, aquavit and fine gins in Hoodsport, Washington. Plus, the stellar wine selections will be presented by Grand Vin Win Merchants. Enjoy yourself knowing that the money you spend is going right back into the community.

Give kindness:

Instead of spending a lot of money on the one you love, try creating kindness together. Purchase a handful of King County Metro one-day bus passes and hand them out to passengers waiting to board to wish them a happy Valentine’s Day. It is a small gesture, but hey, who doesn’t love a free ride?

Seattle is a special kind of city, so don’t settle for normal this holiday. Break the cycle of ritual waste from thoughtless spending and make Valentine’s Day a distinct and delightful experience. Leave your carbon footprint at home and replace it with a gentle footprint on your love’s heart.

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