Eco-friendly Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Like many other holidays or celebrations, the day of romance has become a day of excessive consumerism. Overconsumption—especially of single-use plastic items—lead to both short- and long-term environmental consequences. This year, you can make your significant other feel special without hurting the planet and people in the process. Here are tips to be a more eco-conscious lover.

Choose chocolate with a sweet origin. The chocolate industry is largely problematic and disturbing, for both people and the environment. The sector exploits poor farmers and even enables child labor. To avoid indirectly encouraging such practices, purchase chocolate only from companies that use ethically grown cocoa. This website provides an exhaustive list of such brands and labels to look for.

Skip the balloons. Balloons are a staple of celebrations, including Valentine’s Day, but present a set of environmental problems. After release, they end up in natural habitats or the ocean, harming wildlife animals. There is a variety of “biodegradable” balloons on the market, but various environmentalists conclude that they are no better than conventional latex or rubber ones. In addition, the balloon industry accounts for 10% of total helium use and is basically wasting the finite quantity of this gas on earth. This February, skip the balloon in favor of alternative decorations (pinwheels, paper flags, paper ribbon, etc.)

Break up with confetti. Confetti present the same pollution problem as balloons. They are used for just a few seconds but endure virtually forever since they are made of plastic. If you have to get one, opt for truly biodegradable confetti. There are even reusable confetti popper on the market!

 

Written by Kelly Jean, Class of 2022

Photo Credit: Pixbay