Art of Living Lifestyles

Love Is Sustainable

Story by Hallie Zarbakhsh, Staff Writer

Valentine’s Day is this Friday, and you know what that means! Purchasing mountains of stuff – teddy bears, chocolates, flowers, jewelry, etc. – to prove how much you love someone. But how about showing the Earth a little love too? I’m not saying it’s wrong to buy gifts, because that’s an integral part of any human culture. But there are ways to have a sustainable Valentine’s Day where you can show your sweetheart and your planet how much you love them.

A lot of sources I looked at online under the search “sustainable valentine’s day” fell a little flat. Most of the ideas included buying fair trade chocolate, organic flowers and avoiding blood diamonds. Which is fantastic, don’t get me wrong. But it doesn’t go far enough. I think sustainability, like love, must always have a more personal aspect attached to it. Some of the articles I read felt the same way, and focused on home-made gifts, staying in, and spending time with your lover, friends, family, pets, etc!

So here are some ideas. Flowers? Why not try making your own with origami. It’s free, lasts much longer than cut stems, and the time and effort you put into them will be much more apparent than a trip to the store. As far as being environmentally friendly, you can use left paper from your recycling bin, or perhaps poems or sheet music to make them even fancier. Try out the many tutorials.

Flowers – check. What about chocolates? Support local businesses here in Athens, or stay home and whip up some homemade brownies. If you want to go a little fancier, visit O’Chocolate, an Athens company that practices using local, fair trade, and/or organic ingredients. But you know what’s even better than chocolate?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. So explore your options in the realm of eco-confectionaries.

Cards? MAKE YOUR OWN. Like we did in elementary school. We all act like the kid who bought the shiny holographic Valentine’s cards was the coolest(he certainly thought he was), but we all know that the homemade ones at least meant the most. Write a poem or crafty card for your significant other. Going solo? No problem. Host an old school party with your friends. Start the party off where everyone brings supplies they have, makes Valentine shoe boxes, and then make Valentine’s to give to each other! Totes presh. Don’t forget to bake cookies together with pink frosting. Otherwise you failed.

Stacy Peters sells a number of items but specializes in truffles made from ingredients unique to Athens, Ohio such as Sticky Pete's Maple Syrup and wines from Della Zona. Photo by Elizabeth Linares.
Stacy Peters sells a number of items but specializes in truffles made from ingredients unique to Athens, Ohio such as Sticky Pete’s Maple Syrup and wines from Della Zona. Photo by Elizabeth Linares.

The number one best, most endearing, most loving, most convincing, most spectacular way to show someone you love them? Spend time with them. Take them on a walk or give them a back massage or write them a letter. For your friends, watch a movie in your room or make candy sushi or decadent cupcakes.  The back massage is optional depending on how close you are. Call your family, cuddle your kitty harder, play with your dog an extra half hour. Take care of your home- planet Earth – to show how much you love it. Valentine’s Day is about love, not stuff. And so is sustainability.

Love on.

 

 

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