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When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best… Make It Green

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and you may already be out shopping for your sweetheart. And, on average, you will be expected to spend $116.21 on gifts, meals and entertainment. But before you do any last minute shopping, consider how much of a potentially negative impact just one day can have on the environment.

Greeting cards are the most popular gift given on Valentine’s Day. Who doesn’t like to receive those heartfelt declarations of love? Unfortunately, those are like bleeding hearts for trees. According to the Greeting Card Association, 190 million cards are given to loved ones every year. Christmas is the only other holiday when people give more greeting cards. Though some cards may be kept as keepsakes, most just end up in a refuse dump. If you must buy a card, buy those labeled as recyclable and/or made out of recycled paper. Or, better yet, send an e-card or make your own on the computer and secretly place it on your partner’s computer desktop. If you receive any cards, be sure to place them in your recycle bin or send your cards the St. Jude’s Ranch for Children Recycled Card Program.

Red roses have always been a symbol of love and a popular gift for Valentine’s Day. In fact, more fresh flowers are bought for Valentine’s Day than any other holiday. The Society of American Florists estimates that 198 million roses were produced for Valentine’s Day last year. Many flowers are grown using harmful fertilizers and pesticides. These chemicals can cause pollution and biodiversity loss of various plants and animals. In addition, most flowers are imported which requires the use energy during transportation. When purchasing flowers, consider buying local, organic and/or fairtrade plants like at . Once the flowers have died, don’t throw them in the trash – compost them!

And then we have the ever-so-popular heart-shaped candy boxes. According to American Greetings, more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold. The problem is that a lot of the cocoa in the chocolates is produced using forced child labor. Some of these children are taken from their families and live on cocoa farms where they are often abused and live under inhumane conditions. When buying chocolates, purchase from Fair Trade and organic retailers. Once the candy has been eaten, send the wrappers to be recycled or get creative and make it into a long-lasting heart clock.

I’ll spare you any more gory details! But don’t despair, when it comes to Valentine’s gifts, there are always green alternatives… it just takes a little ingenuity and insider secrets.

 

 

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