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5 Green Valentine's Day TipsValentines Day is wonderful for hopeless romantics but can be a burden on the pocket book and spike energy consumption. Here's some alternatives to a cookie-cutter holiday.1. Sweeter Treats Let's talk about my favorite first...chocolate! That sweet, creamy taste doesn't have to come at a high cost to the environment. This year choose chocolate that is ethical, local, organic, and/or shade grown. Also try avoiding unnecessary packaging to reduce waste.2. Opt for Plants In 2012, Americans spent about $1.7 billion dollars on Valentine's Day flowers alone! Nearly 80% of all flowers sold in the U.S. come from South America. Transporting flowers from South America and other parts of the world for Valentine's Day will produce nearly 20 million pounds of CO2. So save some energy and buy plants from local nurseries instead. Some favorites include: helleborus, primroses, pansies, winter heather, and flowering shrubs.3. Chalk CupidSpread your message of love and peace to your sweetie, neighbors, or even strangers. With chalk in hand, write your lovely thoughts (and maybe a little bit of art) on the walkway to your home and skip paper greetings all together. 4. Cook Something Up Whip up something delicious for your sweetie, cook together, or if you are single invite fellow singles over for a home-cooked meal. Opt for local, organic, and free-range products for your meal if possible. Or if you are headed to a restaurant, find one that embraces green practices. 5. Share the LoveConsider making a donation or volunteer for your favorite charity so you can share the love with those less fortunate. Perhaps you have unused items in your home you'd like to donate to a thrift store? Or you could save some latte money to make a monetary donation. If time is something you have a lot of, share it with young readers at a school, get involved in an organization, or teach a skill to others. Being of service is one of the greatest gifts we can offer.
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