How to Celebrate a Green Valentine's Day

CC BY 2.0. Liz West

The size of one's carbon footprint is not usually a major concern on this romantic holiday, but it can be mitigated with advance planning.

Do you have a lover to entertain on February 14th? Although your mind will likely be elsewhere as you celebrate this day of romantic love, there are ways in which you can maintain your TreeHugger standards simultaneously. Take what you want from the following suggestions, which are meant to describe an ideal scenario for turning your love green – not from envy, but from eco-friendliness!

Romantic dinner:

Go vegan for Valentine’s Day. Cooking from scratch is a big money-saver and a fun activity to do together as a couple; it also affords you the privacy you may crave on a night when restaurants are busier than ever. Look through this list of 15 vegetarian comfort foods for inspiration or order takeout from a local vegan restaurant, but be sure to pick up in your own reusable containers so as not to generate nasty Styrofoam or plastic waste. Say no to the disposable cutlery and napkins.Select wine from a local vineyard or beer from a local brewer.


If giving additional gifts is your custom, then source carefully. Chocolates are an eternal symbol of Valentine’s Day, but be sure to buy fair-trade. Purchase truffles in a reusable container from a local chocolatier.

Stay away from cut flowers, which are notorious for awful labor conditions, including child labor, and excessive chemical and water use, not to mention non-recyclable clear plastic wrapping.

Consider zero-waste gifts, too, such as bars of handmade soap, jars of homemade body lotion or organic coffee beans, a hand-knitted scarf, or a batch of cupcakes, decadent ice cream, or homemade Nutella (gasp).

Setting the mood:

There’s nothing like candles to set the mood. Choose unscented natural ones, such as beeswax or soy wax. Stay away from synthetic fragrances, lead, and paraffin wax.

Use a diffuser to scent the air with essential oil. Rose, patchouli, sandalwood, and ylang-ylang are all good choices. Look for natural massage oil that uses one of these scents, or a delicious edible massage bar.

Make up your bed with organic cotton, hemp, or bamboo sheets. Turn down the thermostat so you’ll have to cuddle for warmth.