Valentine's Day is an undeniably a sweet holiday surrounded by feelings of warmth, love, and happiness. While the holiday's traditions don't necessarily make the occasion rife with eco-sins, there are ways to make Valentine's Day a greener affair. From the sweets you choose to the cards your kids send, read on for six ways to make the holiday a Valentine to your family and Mother Earth as well.
Exchange Homemade/Recycled Cards or Send E-Cards
Making your own cards from newspapers, construction paper around the house, stamps, stickers, etc. allows you to use your resources and your creativity. Making keepsake Valentine crafts are also a great way to spend some quality art time with your kids (and the praise and adoration from grandparents is sure to please them as well). Sending e-cards is also a way to eliminate the paper. Some e-card companies offer interactive options, so kids can have fun picking or creating the perfect love note to their aunty.
Choose Eco-friendly Chocolates or Sweets
Sweets may be requisite on Valentine’s Day, but make sure the chocolate beneath those shiny red wrappers is green. One company we love is Divine Chocolates, and they are featuring chocolate hearts for Valentine’s Day, made with Fair Trade ingedients. For adults only, try some of Theo’s organic and Fair Trade aphrodisiac collection. Or splurge on Lagusta Luscious’s chocolate of the month club or her Anatomical Hearts, all of which are vegan, organic, and made with Fair Trade ingredients.
Swap Overhyped V-Day Dinner Dates for a Homemade Meal or Potluck Party
Skip the overpriced Lovers’ Special Prix Fixe at a local restaurant that likely features out-of-season produce. Instead make your own vegetarian Valentine’s Day feast using local ingredients. Finish on a sweet note with some vegan pudding or a dessert using citrus fruits, many of which are in season this time of year. Try some fun ingredients that are red such as goji berries or mix in some heart-healthy nuts or choose seasonal treats like sweet potatoes or acorn squash. Making the evening into a family affair, or even a pot luck with friends is a nice way to share the holiday with everyone.
Spread the Love
As parents, we are lucky to have the unconditional love of our children. Not everyone is so fortunate to be surrounded by little people who adore and need them, so spread the love around and share the true meaning of the day. As a family, make cards to send to kids in the hospital, make a huge Valentine’s sign for a nursing home, or even whip up a batch of healthy cookies or muffins for the underappreciated people in your everyday life-the postperson, a bank teller, or garbage person.
Make Heart-Healthy Decisions as a Family
With all the focus on hearts on Valentine’s Day, make a family pact to start a healthy habit. You can think of every Valentine’s Day like a New Year’s celebration for your family’s heart health. Whether it’s taking a post-dinner walk, foregoing sugary breakfast cereal for healthier oatmeal, or even trying some family yoga or meditation (good for hearts and minds), thinking up small ways to improve health together is a great way to discuss fitness and nutrition in a fun setting that gives them the opportunity to offer some input.
Don’t Forget the Other Members of your Family
Pets are truly the masters of unconditional love, so celebrate their place in your family during the holiday as well. Kids will be thrilled to cook up a healthy treat for your dog or cat – Dog Treat Kitchen has tons of ideas to get you started. Make sure you check with your vet if you have any dietary concerns. Or check our Great Green Pet, a website devoted to treats and goodies for animals of all sorts. And since our busy lives often mean Fido gets abbreviated walks, make pet playtime and walks a priority.
Lead image via Shutterstock