Love Where You Live: Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day

This year, celebrate Valentine’s Day in a way that expresses your love for the planet. Instead of roses, consider giving personal experiences like a painting or cooking class. If like us, you love where you live, make an effort to patronize local businesses, and look for ways to support and improve your neighborhood. Below are some suggestions for you to have a more sustainable Valentine’s Day.

Sustainable Flowers

According to the International Council on Clean Transportation, for Valentine’s Day, 4 billion roses will be flown on cargo jets from Colombia, emitting more than 360,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Once they land in Miami, they are transported in refrigerated trucks burning diesel fuel.

Locally-grown tulips. Image: Jig-Bee Flower Farm

The “Slow Flower Movement” offers an ecological alternative – buy in-season flowers from small growers in your area. In Philly, that means Jig Bee Flower Farm which offers seasonal bouquets at The American Street Flower Market or at locations in Old City, East Falls, Kensington, and Fishtown. Order a Valentine’s Day bouquet with locally-grown tulips on their website, or subscribe to their weekly or monthly deliveries to your home to express your love throughout the year. 

Local Chocolates

Forget those heart-shaped boxes at CVS as well as Godiva. If you really want to get a heart beating faster, support a local business and check out the mouth-watering selection at John & Kira’s. Made in their North Philly kitchen under the supervision of French-trained Chef Angele Sticco, John & Kira’s uses ingredients from small local farms to flavor their unique chocolates. They offer Valentine’s Day assortments, including dark and milk chocolate ganache hearts, as well as Chocolate Dipped Figs and other delectables.

Hearts & Lovebugs Chocolates. Image: John & Kira’s

Give Him/Her a Class

Now here’s a gift that keeps on giving! Sign your partner up for an in-person or online Valentine’s cooking class at Cozy Meal. Choose from French, Italian, Vietnamese, and Vegetarian cuisine. 

Dish from Italian American Restaurant Favorites Class. Image: Cozymeal

Give the language of love with an Alliance Francaise daily online French class. 

Or the art of love at Fleisher Art Memorial in South Philly. Choose from Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Photography, Ceramics, Fiber Art, Sculpture, Jewelry Making, and a special Valentine’s Paper Cutting Class.

Romantic Takeout

Why dine out on the one night of the year when restaurants are booked weeks in advance, short-staffed and noisy? Instead, take advantage of restaurants offering Valentine’s Day dinners for take-out and home delivery. All you add are the candles.

Charlie Was a Sinner and its sister restaurant Bar Bombon in the Gayborhood offers decadent, five-course, vegan dinners for two, with a bottle of sparkling rosé, a bouquet of local flowers, and vegan chocolates.

Fond in East Passyunk offer an array of Valentine’s take-out options, including Shrimp Cocktail, Crab Cakes, Beef Bourguignon, and Coconut Caramel Chocolate Truffles. Pre-order through Feb. 12th.

Valentine’s Day dish at Fond. Image: Fond

Talula’s Garden on Washington Square, considered one of the top farm-to-table restaurants in Philadelphia, has a five-course menu available for indoor dining, pick up, or delivery. It includes Lobster Risotto, Short Ribs, Polenta, and Berries with Whipped Cream and optional beverage pairings.

Patronize Local Sustainable Shops

To identify eco-friendly shops in your neighborhood, check Philly’s Sustainable Business Network. Their listings include Cake Life Bake Shop in Fishtown which offers special Valentine’s Day desserts. Also listed are LUHV Vegan Deli in Center City, Mariposa Food Coop in West Philly, and Frieda, a combination community cultural center and eatery in Society Hill.

Valentine’s Day Desserts. Image: Cake Life Bake Shop

For the marine animal lover in your life, anything your purchase from United By Blue will help clean the ocean, whether it’s candles or a backpack.

Good Buy Supply in East Passyunk focuses on eco-friendly goods. Image: Good Buy Supply

Or visit Good Buy Supply in East Passyunk where you can fill a tote bag with sustainable goodies, including goat milk Soap, a Luffa sponge, wax wraps, a bamboo toothbrush, and more.

Moon + Arrow in Bella Vista has many Valentine’s gifts made by local artisans. Give your loved one the pleasure of a Bodah Ritual Aromatherapy Eye-Pillow scented with lavender and chamomile. Or If you are head over heels, take a long look at their exquisite hand-crafted jewelry.

Bodah Eye Pillow. Image: Moon + Arrow

Steel Pony on Philly’s Fabric Row is a slow fashion women’s clothing boutique that specializes in hand-dyed, one-size-fits-all garments and handbags that are made to order, as well as ready-made items available online. This eco-friendly design company is run by a husband and wife team with the goal of creating beautiful fashions that are good for the environment. 

Do Good in Your Neighborhood

Valentine’s Day isn’t just about couples. It’s about loving your community. Here are some caring activities to do on your own, with a partner or your children.

Volunteer at an animal shelter to walk dogs. This is a fun activity, especially for those who cannot own or foster an animal at the present time. For info on volunteering, contact Philly Paws.

Express your love of animals by volunteering with an animal shelter. Image: Philly Paws

Volunteer at a food bank. They always appreciate an extra pair of hands. Or call a local food bank, ask what they need, and do a collection on your street.

Organize a neighborhood clean-up day. Chat with your block captain and neighbors to plan a day to clean up your block or join an existing neighborhood clean-up in your area.

Whether you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day alone, with a partner, with family, or with friends, we encourage you to do it with love for your community and our planet in mind.

Looking for other ways you can be more sustainable? Check out our article on Four Ways to Minimize your Waste Footprint in Philadelphia or our list on 5 Things Philly Renters can do for the Environment.

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