Five Ways to Make Green the New Red This Valentine's Day

| by Rainforest Alliance

This Valentine's Day, sweethearts can demonstrate their love for one another and for the environment by choosing gifts and activities that support the environment and improve the conditions of workers and communities around the world.

  • Buy responsibly-grown flowers – Make sure the bloom on your rose does not come at the expense of the environment. If you're giving a bouquet, look for flowers at Whole Foods Market and Costco that bear the green frog Rainforest Alliance Certified seal. Rainforest Alliance Certified farms eliminate deforestation, protect soil and waterways and provide decent wages, housing, education and health care to workers and their families.

  • Forget gifts, head outdoors – Rather than spending money on jewelry and other gifts that are stored away and soon forgotten, plan an activity together that will get your heart pumping and demonstrate your appreciation for your local environment. Depending on where you live, consider cross-country skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, a romantic canoe ride or a stroll through the woods.

  • Box of Truffles
    Chocolates can be a sweet deal for the environment and farmers - Farmed on over 17 million acres of tropical land, some 15 million farmers earn their living by harvesting cocoa. Make sure the chocolate you buy contains cocoa grown in a way that protects tropical forests and the rights and welfare of workers and their communities. Newman's Own Organics, Vintage Plantations and Kallari are Rainforest Alliance Certified options now available now at Whole Foods Markets.

  • Give cards made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper – Nothing is more thoughtful than a homemade card. You can extend that sentiment to forest communities by crafting your card using FSC-certified paper, which guarantees that the pulp comes from responsibly managed forests. FSC-certified paper is available at Staples and Office Depot. If arts and crafts aren't your thing, you can purchase FSC-certified Valentines Day cards from mygoodgreetings.com or you can consider buying Flower Seed Paper, which contains wildflower seeds in the fibers of the card, allowing your sweetheart to plant your card in the spring.

  • Save emissions (and money) by staying in - If you want to minimize your CO2 emissions, stay in and cook a romantic dinner using locally-grown foods. Be sure to dim the lights and dine by candlelight! If you do opt to eat out, remember that walking and public transit are the most eco-friendly modes of transport.