Valentine’s Day is considered by some to be just another over-consumptive holiday — another opportunity for retailers to push loads of chocolate, cards, flowers, and balloons onto consumers, that all too soon end up in the landfill.
There’s no need to boycott the day of love. Let the hopeless romantic in you shine!
GreenUP has your ultimate guide to a green Valentine’s Day, so that you can spread the love and leave the guilt behind.
The best gifts are the ones that come from the heart and oftentimes that means there’s more sentimental value, and less waste. Make a nice meal for your sweetheart, bake up a batch of cupcakes, make a card, or hand knit a scarf.
If you’re not the crafty type, why not buy your significant other a gift that gives back? You can support local businesses and artisans with hand-made jewellery, soap, or art — and when a gift is handmade, it means that each comes with a personal touch.
Peterborough is full of options. The GreenUP Store carries goods from more than 40 local artisans and crafters. If it’s jewellery you’re looking for, look for sustainable options. The manufacturing of an average gold ring creates more than 20 tons of mining waste so, to be eco-conscious, look for options made from recycled materials.
GreenUP carries several options. Chayle earrings are inspired by nature and hand-crafted using recycled precious metals and sustainable sources of silver and gold. Chayle creates beautiful and artful jewellery using sustainable practices close by in Ottawa, Ontario.
Petrichor is another local, sustainable business. GreenUP carries Petrichor up-cycled silver spoon rings that are hand crafted by Olivia Vandersanden. Vandersanden is using her earnings from Petrichor to raise funds to form the foundation for a wildlife rehabilitation centre in the Kawartha Lakes region.
Bike Bits is another sustainable local crafter that creates earrings from up-cycled bike parts — a great gift idea for a loved one who also loves their bike.
If you’re looking for sweets for your sweet, consider locally sourced, sustainably harvested honey or maple syrup. Naturally sweet OtonaBEE Apiary honey is the perfect treat for a loved one. Liquid and creamed clover and buckwheat honey is available in various sized jars and is 100 per cent pure, just as the bees make it!
Golden Treasure Maple Syrup is from Trout Creek Ontario and has been in operation since 1994, growing over the years to over 16,000 taps over 300 acres of maple bush in the heart of Northern Ontario. Pour it over heart-shaped pancakes for Valentine’s Day breakfast, or over vanilla iced cream for a sweet dessert after a romantic dinner.
Bath and beauty products are also a popular choice to pamper your valentine. Three Sisters Hand and Body Cream is available in lavender or unscented and is a wonderful zero-waste option because it is packaged in a reusable mason jar, featuring organic and non-toxic ingredients. This is a sweet treat for dry winter skin!
Don’t forget to set the mood, and save energy, by dimming the lights and lighting some candles. Conventional candles are made with paraffin wax, which is a petroleum byproduct, and some wicks contain traces of heavy metals, so choose soy or beeswax and avoid candles with synthetic fragrance.
This Old Flame is a locally made beeswax option that comes to you with zero packaging. This gift is easy to love and will also be sure to light up the heart of your eco-conscious Valentine.
If you’re looking for a low key, yet romantic option to surprise your loved ones, why not get outside this Valentine’s Day and enjoy nature with a hike or get out in the snow and go skiing?
Visit a local park or nature area and then snuggle up afterwards and get warm with some hot chocolate. After all, when you choose experiences over gifts it means that you can make memories and avoid purchasing more “stuff.”
To choose a route or destination close to home, you can check out our many local Peterborough trails on the City of Peterborough Trails Map.
If you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, you can do so the eco-friendly way. Let your heart show love for your Valentine and for the earth. For GreenUP Store hours and product lines, check out greenup.on.ca/greenup-store or visit us at 378 Aylmer Street North in downtown Peterborough.