Be kind to the planet AND sweet to your Valentine!

Ideas for a more sustainable Valentine’s Day

What the world needs now is love, sweet love

It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of

What the world needs now is love, sweet love

No, not just for some, but for everyone

– Jackie DeShannon

It’s true, especially after three long years of COVID-19 and in the face of Ukraine, inflation, climate change and more.  That’s why Valentine’s Day, our annual opportunity to show those dearest to us how much we care, is especially timely.

But what the world definitely doesn’t need is more stuff, plastic or carbon emissions – all frequently associated with Valentine’s Day.  So if you’d like to shower love sustainably, here are a few suggestions:

  • Roses have become synonymous with love, but why should they have a monopoly?  They’re often airfreighted long distances, so they come with a huge carbon footprint.  Instead, why not go for a bouquet of locally-produced flowers, or a locally-grown plant that will last well beyond February?
  • Thanks to good marketing, diamonds have become synonymous with love, but they too come with enormous baggage.  Some are mined in volatile places, so profits may go to dubious characters and causes.  Some are mined in extreme or faraway places, so they have an enormous carbon footprint.  So if you’re looking for a special stone, why not opt for a less controversial (and expensive) gem, or go secondhand?  Or if you’re really lucky you may have a relative with a precious stone who would be delighted to see it repurposed for a new generation.
  • If you’re leaning toward chocolate, why not opt for organic (kind to the planet) and Fair Trade (kind to the producer)?
  • Make your own greeting card – with a verse as simple as ‘Roses are red, violets are blue…’ or perhaps a bit deeper, like ‘How do I love thee?’  Or why not make up your own poem?
  • Instead of stuff, why not give a food item you’ve made or grown yourself; or the gift of quality time together, whether cooking, playing a game or just socializing?
Happy sustainable Valentine’s Day!

In the news:

A new analysis concludes that more than 90% of rainforest carbon offsets provided by the world’s biggest certifier are worthless, and may actually do more harm than good.

Canada’s largest indigenous solar project is officially online, generating enough electricity to power 10,000 homes – in sunny Alberta! Deeper dive: the truth about minerals and the clean energy transition (not all rosy, but what some would have you believe either)


“You can’t recycle your way out of this, sorry… If we don’t find an agreeable way to impose change, the climate system will do it for us less agreeably.”

        – Oliver Milman in The Guardian, making the case that solving climate change will require making lifestyle changes

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