leaf in the shape of a heart

Roses are red
Violets are blue
It’s Valentine’s Day
How green are you?

Valentine’s Day, Singles Awareness Day, or however you’d like to name this Saturday is the time of year where you see grocery stores stockpiled with cards, chocolates, flowers, and other tokens of appreciation for loved ones. Sounds like a lot of consumerism and potential waste to me.

Whether you’re spending time with that special person or treating yourself, this February 14th, show the environment some love, too. Below are 6 easy ideas to keep the holiday green:

Craft homemade cards

No reason to go for store-bought cards when making one by hand can be so much more meaningful. Get crafty and reuse stationary materials that may be lying around your house already.

Rethink flowers

Most pre-cut flowers are heavily laden with pesticides and have been genetically modified to look a certain way. (So much for natural beauty.) Opt for organic flowers instead—or even better, pick a bouquet from your backyard or gift a potted plant, which will last much longer.

Indulge in fair trade chocolate

If you’d like to satisfy a sweet tooth, make sure the chocolate you buy was produced by farmers who receive a fair price in return. Fair trade certification ensures that products are not a result of slave and child labor (yes, that’s still a thing).

Buy ethical jewelry

Similar to fair trade chocolate! When the producer is given a fair compensation for his or her work, money can be put toward investing in more sustainable techniques and better practices. And you wouldn’t want to give someone jewelry with bad mojo, would you?

Cook dinner at home

Forego competing to get a reservation at a fancy restaurant. What could be more romantic than preparing a Lady and the Tramp-style spaghetti dinner for two in the comfort of your own home? Light a candle, play some music, and save your car some mileage.

Hike to a view

Accomplishing something together brings people closer. Breathe in some fresh air and get your endorphins going. You could even bring a picnic (don’t forget your plateware) and arrive just in time for sunset!

Sustainability HQ is a regular series with stories, tips and tricks for how to make your business and office space more sustainable. Email me at hello@enplug.com with any thoughts, stories, or ideas!

Read more: Sustainability HQ: Bring Your Own Mug (BYOM)

Flickr Creative Commons via vinothchandar