Think you’ve got Casanova’s moves down? Lights down low? Check. Barry crooning? Check. Poured the wine? Check. But how about going the extra mile to impress your eco-conscious chérie? From eco-friendly love notes to organic chocolate, we’ve got the goods to shower your valentine with green tokens of your affection. How do you love your planet? Let’s count the ways you can green your Valentine’s Day.
Since Catullus wooed Lesbia and Petrarch pined after Laura, men have written love notes to their beloveds. And not much has changed. Approximately a billion Valentine cards are sent out every year. But while lovers across the globe are penning their adoration, conservationists are cringing.
Shiver me Timbers.
Of all the wood harvested across the world, 42 per cent goes to paper production. What’s more, nearly 71 per cent of trees cut for paper production are from the forest. In British Columbia alone, over 40 per cent of trees cut are for paper production. According to the BC Ministry of Forests, 90 per cent of the trees cut are from ancient forests.
Pour Your Heart Out.
Of all industries in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, the pulp and paper industry uses the most water.
You’re Toxic, I’m Slipping Under.
If you don’t plan on recycling or holding onto those love notes, they’ll end up in a landfill, expelling methane into the atmosphere as they break down.
Show your chérie you care and give cards made from 100 per cent post-consumer paper or send an e-card instead.
Flirt with Flowers
Every Valentine’s Day, 34 per cent of Canadians make a mad dash to the florist and shower their sweethearts with flowers. And what says “I love you” more than pesticide-infested blooms? That’s right. Cultivating those pretty peonies and ruby red roses uses more pesticides than any other agricultural product. And if you haven’t noticed, Canada’s freezing temperatures don’t make for ideal growing conditions. As a result, we fly in millions of fresh cut flowers every year. In 2005 alone, Canada bought over $100 million worth of flowers from Columbia, Ecuador, the United States, the Netherlands and Costa Rica. Think of the mileage! Opt to buy organic and pesticide-free posies online at ecoflora.ca if you live in Toronto, stop in at Whole Foods in Toronto or Vancouver or pick up a bouquet at Cactus Flower House in Edmonton.
Cherish the Chocoholic in Your Life
Who knew those little heart-shaped boxes were packed with pesticides? According to the Pesticide Action Network, the amount of pesticides used to grow cocoa is second only to cotton. What’s more, thousands of animals and birds are robbed of their homes by farmers clearing land to grow cocoa. Opt for organic chocolate like Green and Blacks or Dagoba instead; they’re grown under shade canopies and are pesticide free.
Bejewel Your Beau
Saving up to adorn your lover in diamonds? Consider this: approximately 250 tons of ore are dug up and processed per carat. And according to Adria Vasil, author of Ecoholic, one in five diamonds are extracted from digging up riverbeds — mucking up their ecosystems in the process. Save your pocketbook and your conscience and bargain for antique bling instead.
Dim the Lights
Set the stage for a romantic evening by turning off the lights and lighting candles. Since regular candles are made with non-renewable paraffin wax (a by-product of petroleum), use beeswax or soy candles that’ll burn long into the night.