About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged in the US each year. That’s the largest seasonal card-sending occasion of the year, next to Christmas. And millions of boxes of candy are purchased for this special day of celebration.
Worldwide, over 50 million roses are given for Valentine’s Day each year.
California produces 60 percent of American roses, but the vast number sold on Valentine’s Day in the United States are imported, mostly from South America. Approximately 110 million roses, the majority red, will be sold and delivered within a three-day time period.
That’s the death of thousands of trees and rose bushes not to mention the GHG emissions to get the cut roses and chocolates here, the pollutants to create the paper and the waste stream of all the packaging.
With a nod to Geoffrey Chaucer and his time when courtly love flourished and in celebration of Christian martyr, St. Valentine, we will be honoring and celebrating with loved ones in ten days.
Although this day is mostly considered for celebration between romantic couples, as a modern woman I’ve always honored my close family and friends as well as my significant others on this day.
Can we do it sustainably? Without any violence to plantlife, each other, the environment or our wallets? We have a few suggestions.
The What and How:
Plan a sustainable Valentine’s Day for someone you love.
This week’s practice is to choose a sustainable gift (eco-friendly, economically or socially responsible, culturally honorable) by reusing, repurposing, recycling, or rebuying. And thus reducing not only your impact on the planet but also supporting your local community while adding some of your own love and personal creativity into a gift representing the greatest human emotion for a beloved other.
Recycle an old artwork, damaged print, special photograph, ribbons, fabric into a bookmark, Valentine card, heart mobile or coupon gift book. Use fishing line and some of those wooden barbecue skewers to create a mobile with various sized hearts awaiting him or her on the special day. Or hang them from the ceiling at different heights for a dramatic effect. Make a coupon gifts book in the shape of a heart with coupons for massages from you, special favors and chores he/she may want a break from.
Rebuy an antique Valentine’s Day Card, souvenir or momento.
Perhaps a night at home with organic sheets and towels.
Try running him or her a fabulous herbal oil bath. For centuries we have been using oils in the bath to soften and scent the skin. 1 bottle of organic olive oil + 1 tablespoon castille soap + fragrant essential oil of choice. Combine all together, add essential oil and place into jars and add oil drop by drop. Shake to combine. Nice accompanied by a homemade gift bag filled with dried herbs. The bag can be hung around the tap while the bath is filling or just thrown into the bath. Or create a bath soak in the center of a hemmed calico square place 1 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup almond meal and 1/2 cup cornmeal. Tie up into a ball with a length of lace. The mixture will diffuse into the bath water.
Cooking is caring after all. Pack a picnic. Bake some heart shaped cookies or grilled cheese heart shaped sandwiches, burgers, or lasagna. Get a cookie shaper and get artistic with it! Have fun with your food! Or just lovingly prepare them their favorite dish!
Make your own chocolate truffles, try our Founder’s main recipe below. These are freezable and can be defrosted quickly for those unplanned quick dinners and potlucks. Freeze in baggies and label, they defrost in 15 minutes at room temperature.
Recycle your florist’s rose and other flower petals. Great idea for a romantic gift, decorate your dinner table or the bedroom. Don’t wait until the last minute; you need to call weeks ahead to your florist to arrange picking up a box of discarded decent petals that have been kept in their refrigerator. And if you set the mood with candles, make sure they are paraffin free bee’s wax or palm wax.
Repurposing for the V-Day. Take your recycled baskets, clay pots, cigar boxes, gift containers and decorate with red or pink glass, ceramic shards, tissue paper, wrapping paper, etc. inside and out. Cover with eco-varnishes from here.
Buy a tree, rose bush, strawberry or raspberry plants from a local nursery and plant them in loving memory of your beloved, a loved family member or friend.
And don’t forget to connect with nature, take a walk under the moonlight with someone you love, or the whole family after that special dinner. In my neighborhood the moon will be in its last quarter.
It’s a beautiful day to honor and be grateful for the love, compassion, affection and the presence of our loved ones.
The Deep Dive:
TerraBluTeams Founder truffle recipe here:
1. In a small saucepan bring ½ cup heavy cream, 2Tbutter to a simmer, wisk in 10oz. of high quality dark chocolate cocoa (or 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate pieces). and 1t vanilla extract.
2. Divide the ganache, and add the flavorings to each part –mint leaves, amaretto, Cherrie Suisse, almond extract, etc.
3. Allow to cool in refrigerator for two hours, roll into truffles, put on parchment paper and return to refrigerator overnight.
4. Roll in cocoa, powdered sugar, chopped nuts and serve.
Plantable Eco-Valentine’s Cards here.
Sexy sustainable skivvies here.