The husbae and I went green and converted to a non-toxic household back in 2018 and we recently transitioned to a plant-based lifestyle as of December 2019.  While we usually do not celebrate Valentine’s Day I’ve done a little research to figure out how we you can exchange gifts or do something that would help sustain the environment as a couple.

When planning a gift for your significant other this Valentine’s Day, consider the below ideas to decrease your carbon footprint – your future self will thank you for it!

  1. Flowers die and get thrown out within days. Consider gifting a plant instead.
  2. Instead of buying a card, make a card from items you already have.
  3. Patronize a local Farmer’s Market and buy locally sourced, organic, plant-based, unprocessed foods. Direct-to-consumer food has fewer pesticides and herbicides, which are toxic to surrounding organisms and can contaminate soil and vegetation. Shopping locally can also help support the  local economy by creating jobs in the agricultural and service industry and allow local restaurants to serve higher quality meals. Don’t forget to bring your reusable bags!
  4. Clean your closets together and participate in a clothing recycle program. The North Face’s global Clothes the Loop program. Just drop off your used apparel and footwear (it can be in any condition and any brand) to any North Face location. You’ll earn a $10 reward toward your next purchase of $100 or more at any The North Face retail or outlet store. Another retail recycling option is the Blue Jeans Go Green Denim Recycling program. Participating stores, like American Eagle Outfitters, will repurpose your used denim jeans and jackets.  
  5. Donate your time and gently used items. Winter weather is especially harsh for those in need. National and local charity organizations such as the Salvation ArmyThe American Red Cross, community outreach programs, shelters, schools, and churches are all places that take clothing, coat, and shoe donations for those who might otherwise struggle to stay warm during cold winter weather.
  6. Insulate your home. Take time during the weekend to add insulation and weatherstripping – especially for doors, windows, attic and attic door. Insulating your home to prevent heat loss.

7. Take public transportation to your date. Because public transit carries many passengers on a single vehicle, it can reduce the number of vehicles, the level of traffic noise, and the amount of tailpipe emissions associated with those vehicles. By reducing the amount of emissions from transportation in dense urban areas, public transportation can help cities to reduce smog, to meet air quality standards, and to decrease the health risks of poor air quality to their residents.

8. If you patronize a restaurant for Valentine’s Day, try bringing a reusable/glass straw or opting not to use a straw at all.  If you plan to takeout food from the restaurant, bring your own reusable bag. Bringing these reusable bags every will help the environment by decreasing the number of used plastic bags.  Plastic bags and straws usually end up in the ocean and is harmful to marine life. Plus the production of plastic bags and straws require millions of gallons of oil to manufacture.

9. Instead of buying things, signup and attend a class together and make memories. For example a dance class, pottery making class or exercise class. 

10. Instead of gifting a physical gift, gift an experience in nature instead.  Hiking, Hot Springs, biking, canoeing, skating, roller blading or even visiting a museum. Find 25 of the most amazing hot springs in the US {HERE}

Whatever you do, have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, even if you’re like me and you don’t celebrate.

All images are from The Coordinated Bride Wedding Blog features. Please click on the image to view the original post and image credits. Thank you!