Easy Swaps to Make Your Valentine's Day Green

Easy Swaps to Make Your Valentine\'s Day Green

Swap out these Valentine’s Day classics for greener, healthier versions.

Valentine’s Day may be all about love, but it can be pretty uncaring to our shared planet. Thankfully, all of the staples that make Valentine’s Day what it is can be replaced with versions that show some love for Mother Nature.

Swap out these Valentine’s Day classics for greener (and healthier!) versions.

Chocolate
Can there be Valentine’s Day without chocolate? Speaking on behalf of women everywhere: no. But heart-healthy dark chocolate is all too often diluted with sweeteners and additives. Plus, the cacao industry is notorious for child labour issues and dangerous working conditions.

The best choice for chocolate is organic, dark chocolate (70 percent cacoa or higher) that is also Fair Trade certified. Looking for inspiration? Indulge with these chocolate recipes.

Candles
Conventional candles are made out of an oil industry byproduct called paraffin, which, when burned, releases toxins into the air. Artificially scented candles mean even more chemicals, and to make matters even worse, many wicks have toxic lead cores.

Thankfully, beeswax and soy candles with natural wicks are readily available at specialty shops and many health food stores.

Aromatherapy
Artificial fragrances, used in many conventional aromatherapy products contain harsh chemicals and toxins. These can be especially upsetting to those with environmental sensitivities.

Instead, try essential oils—on their own, or blended with these recipes.

Flowers
The traditional bouquet of red roses can come at a steep price. Cut flowers generally contain high levels of pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Additionally, like the cacao industry, the flower industry has been criticized for its working conditions overseas.

Choose organic, Fair Trade flowers whenever possible. If your local florist doesn’t carry them, explain the issue to the managers and ask them to look into suppliers—and tell your friends to do the same!

Paper cards
It’s no surprise that paper products can contribute to deforestation. And when a holiday like Valentine’s Day comes along, it adds up to a lot of paper being purchased and disposed of without a lot of thought behind it.

The good news is that it’s easy to find better paper options these days. Look for 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper. Other green terms to look for include “vegetable-based ink” and “chlorine-free.” Another great option is sending an e-card on the computer—no paper required!

Body care products
From massage oils to body lotions, body care products are a Valentine’s Day staple for couples, but hormone-disrupting chemicals such as phthalates and parabens are anything but romantic.

Opt for natural and organic products instead.

There are only a few more days until Valentine’s, so why not pop into your local health food store this weekend and stock up?

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