February is here, and with it comes cooler weather, Super Bowl parties, and, of course, Valentine’s Day! Planning out the perfect date can be challenging, especially when you’re trying to stay eco-conscious. However, with a little bit of thought and planning, you can show as much love for the environment as you do to your partner. Here are some useful tips and tricks to help you show that special someone a fun, romantic day filled with environmentally-friendly activities!
- Share a walk or bike ride (weather permitting)
Take your partner out for a stroll through nature, or share a bike ride together! According to CNN, studies have shown that shared exercise can contribute to relationship satisfaction. Take advantage of the great outdoors: it’s free, healthy, and eco-friendly. Tandem bicycles aren’t required (but highly recommended if you want to make your Instagram followers jealous!)
- Cook a romantic meal using local, in-season produce
As the old saying goes: the way to win a person’s heart is through their stomach. Skip the crowds at a fancy restaurant; plan and cook a meal for your partner instead. Impress them by using local, in-season produce, which can help minimize your meal’s carbon footprint. The Texas Department of Agriculture has a handy tool that shows what time of year different fruits and vegetables are best enjoyed in each of the different growing regions across the state. Specific shout-out to sweet potatoes, which makes as great a nickname for your date as it does a side dish for your plate.
- Make conscious choices when purchasing presents for your significant other
Jewelry, chocolate, teddy bears, flowers – gifts play a key role in Valentine’s celebrations. Being a conscious consumer is an effective way to emphasize sustainability without sacrificing romance. Reusing wrapping paper, or using other materials like a newspaper to wrap gifts, is a good way of cutting down on waste. Some greeting card companies make cards exclusively with recycled paper, and certain candy companies make low-plastic candy wrappers.
- Make something creative for your date
Valentine’s gifts don’t have to be items you purchase at a store. Go completely no-waste by using your creative skills to make a personalized present for someone special. A personal favorite of mine is curating short digital streaming playlists, with music that reminds me of the person for whom I am making it. If you are a writer, you could write a poem. If you are artistic, you could paint or draw a picture. Creating something personal for your Valentine is a romantic, and environmentally-friendly, gesture.
- Give your valentine an environmentally-conscious KTB Valentine’s card (right-click images below, ‘Save Picture’ on your desktop and then print on recycled paper).
Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to show the people you love how much you care; why not extend that feeling out to the whole world? We can all do our part this Valentine’s to be thoughtful, conscious, and eco-friendly consumers, without sacrificing any of the romantic sentiment that the holiday is all about. And just remember: green is the new pink!