Making Valentine's Day Romantic, Local, and Sustainable
As Valentine's Day approaches this weekend, we are surrounded by sweet chocolates, hallmark cards, romantic red roses, and all things red. In the middle of our cold winters, we are given this beautiful day to welcome warmth into our hearts, and spread the love— whether it be to our romantic partners or special people in our lives. It may be a different Valentine’s Day given the current circumstances, but let's remember what this given day is all about: love! We will be exploring some alternatives to celebrate love day to make it even more meaningful and sustainable. If you already have your Valentine’s Day planned, then just take what information you want, and use this article as a future reference or to review with your partner!
You may have seen on our Instagram about some information on three main Valentine’s Day items: chocolates, cards and flowers. Below, we will review them again and give some local and sustainable alternatives to encourage conscious consumerism (when buying practices are driven by a commitment to making purchasing decisions that have positive social, economic, and environmental impact).
If you’ve taken a look at our past article— The Story of Chocolate, you can find an explanation of what it means to support a local bean to bar chocolatier vs that of big business. To catch up on the article read here. And if you are looking to buy high quality, love filled, delicious chocolates for your loved ones, check out the selection at Chocolat Voyageur here, they have put together some wonderful valentine's Day packages! Otherwise, as a general reminder, check for Organic and Fair Trade labels when buying your Valentine some chocolate. As we know, the chocolate industry can be very dirty—to both the environment and people. And remember—do not fall for “ethical” or “sustainable” labels without seeing certifications to back it up (especially in our big box stores).
Cards are a lovely gift to tell someone that you love them. Many have the tradition of looking through cards to pick the perfect one, and that’s beautiful. Unfortunately, these cards made are used with thicker materials, glitter, and sometimes plastic. I know it looks fun, and may have the perfect words you are looking for, but all of these cards bought really add up. As an alternative, there are many local businesses in the Saint John area that offer more sustainable options, to name one Shop Juniper (click here)! Or perhaps if you have some extra scrap paper, it might be fun to put your creativity to the test and show
your love through the time, effort and unique words put into your handmade card (and you will even save money with this one)! There are also many great NGOs that have E-Cards that help support biodiversity and climate action. Click here to get a card that helps take action on Climate Change!
Fresh cut flowers bought from the grocery store are often sent from countries which use unethical practices for its workers and the environment. If I’m honest, I’m not super familiar with the sustainability of cut flowers, although what I do know is that the carbon footprint alone of the flowers being sent to Canada is already quite large, with many flowers coming from Ecuador or Colombia. It’s always good to support local creators as much as possible, especially knowing that their practices provide a positive impact on our own local environment as well as an abundance of joy to our local creators. This year, to support our local creators, take a look into Savage Gardens dried flower bouquets here for beautiful flower arrangements, and plus, these flowers will last much longer than a week! Another thing I personally like to do is buy flowers when they are 50% off, which will mean a little later than Valentine’s Day, but it would be even more of a lovely surprise since your loved one might not expect it! I also like to think that I am helping the waste of the flowers just to be thrown out.
Preparing for Valentine’s Day can be stressful sometimes, with expectations from yourself or your loved one, and wanting to make sure everything goes as planned. When we set ourselves and others up with expectations, we are often setting ourselves up for failure. Of course you deserve to be treated right, deserve to be loved, deserve to be thought of. We all deserve love. Deep down we want to be acknowledged and just plain loved! Love is a feeling, gestures, and thought. It is about spending time together, and being there to listen to each other. Love is not stuff. Although chocolates, flowers and cards may be the icing on the cake, truly, the best part about love is being able to live in the moment.
Lots of Love,
If you are looking to search for ways to understand yourself in a relationship and what a healthy relationship looks like, my favourite “Love Bible” that brought me incredible enlightenment and insights is called The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz. Of course this book was introduced to me by my wonderful business partner and best friend Elizabeth Malatestinic.