If your goal is to live more sustainably, including supporting a more sustainable food system, Valentine’s Day is the year’s first holiday to put that resolution to the test.
Many of the traditional gifts and celebrations associated with Valentine’s Day– those heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, the romantic, four-course, meals, and that bouquet of roses– usually come at the expense of our environment.
Fortunately, there are easy ways to celebrate the day of love in a way that also shows our environment some love. All without having to forgo the traditions of Valentine’s Day.
Perhaps the most popular way to celebrate the day is sharing a romantic dinner with your sweetheart. Many people show them the love by preparing a home-cooked meal. Why not prepare a home cooked meal using locally grown, seasonal produce?
We on the West Coast aren’t the only ones who can have seasonal produce; even colder states have a few seasonal fruits and veggies to choose from. For example, in the Northeast and Midwest of the United States at this time of year local produce like turnips, carrots, cabbage, and potatoes are available. Check the Eat Well Guide to find local farms and markets carrying local products.
If home cooking isn’t your thing, then have dinner at a Certified Green Restaurant in your city. You can search the Green Restaurant Association for one near you.
As the group says on it’s web site, when ordering seafood and meat, ask if it’s sustainable, hormone-free, naturally raised, etc. They also suggest carrying pocket-size guides to sustainable seafood, like the ones from Blue Ocean Institute, to help you make smart seafood choices at the fish counter, or your local sushi restaurant.
Or, check out Local Harvest to find a restaurant that serves locally grown and/or organic cuisine for your Valentine’s Day dinner.
Aside from a romantic meal together, perhaps the most popular gift on Valentine’s Day is a bouquet of roses. As I posted last year at this time, there are more and more places to find organic, earth-friendly flowers including Organic Bouquet. You can find more organic flower growers by visiting Local Harvest.
Perhaps the most traditional gift of all is that box of chocolates. Consider buying fair trade or organic chocolate, like Green and Black’s. It’s not only organic, but fair trade certified. These yummy bars come in milk and white chocolate varieties and also feature toffee, peanut and almond varieties.
Or, try Theo’s organic, fair trade chocolate, which carries a special line devoted to the work of conservationist Jane Goddall that benefit cocoa farmers. If you live the Seattle area, you can even take a tour of their chocolate factory with your valentine.