Valentine’s Day isn’t about how to save the world. It’s all about love and romance. But that doesn’t mean that you have to forget about being green during this special day. There are plenty of ways that you can express your love while keeping the environment in mind. Here are some ideas.

• Handmade valentin es – Valentine’s Day cards are sweet, but they’re not good for the environment. Recycled cards are better than those made from all new materials, but a handmade card does a much better job of expressing your feelings. Use recycled paper to make a card from the heart, or simply write your love a poem or letter.

• Environmentally friendly flowers – Flowers are a Valentine’s Day staple, but most are sprayed with pesticides and transported miles and miles on gas-guzzling trucks to get to their destination. Opt for local, organically-grown flowers instead. Or better yet, send an organic potted plant. It will last much longer and produce oxygen, improving the air quality in the recipient’s home.

• Green gourmet goodies – If you choose to give chocolates or other edibles, choose organic, fair-trade products. And instead of going out for dinner, cooking at home is a sustainable option for those who are interested in being green. Cook with organic local or homegrown ingredients, and pick up a bottle of organic wine.

• Something old – Antiques and vintage jewelry make lovely gifts for Valentine’s Day, and they are a perfect example of how to save the world by reusing old things. Hit your local pawn, thrift or antique shop to find a wonderfully unique gift.

• Environmentally friendly lingerie – Lingerie isn’t at the top of most people’s list when it comes to being green, but there are green options available. It’s not hard to find sexy underwear in eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton, silk, hemp or bamboo these days. There are even lines that are made out of recycled fabrics.

• Recycled jewelry – A growing number of crafters, including jewelry makers, are being green by incorporating recycled materials into their work. Visit local shops and look for items made with reclaimed glass beads and other recycled supplies. If you don’t have any luck in your area, you can find lots of recycled jewelry on sites such as Etsy.com. You could even try your hand at making it yourself!

• Sweetly scented soaps – Instead of chemical-laden perfume, give the gift of all-natural soap in your sweetie’s favorite scent. Look for soaps that are free of parabens, preservatives and other harmful ingredients and are scented with fragrant essential oils.

If you’re interested in how to save the world, Valentine’s Day gifts are as good a place as any to start. These gifts will make that special someone happy while also doing something nice for the environment.

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