UGA GreenWay News

A Greener Way of Living, at Home and Abroad

A Greener Valentine’s Day

What can you do this year to show your love for both your “Valentine” and the earth? The first thing I think of is to REDUCE consumption. Just don’t give anyone anything this Valentine’s Day.  Of course, if you choose this way to green your Valentine’s Day you may end up celebrating by yourself in 2015!

There are better options to be green and celebrate Valentine’s Day. Consider REGIFTING.  One year my Valentine gave me a box of chocolates that had been purchased as a Christmas gift and regifted to him.  He forgot to remove the card from the original gift giver to the previous recipient!  Needless to say I was not impressed with a box of stale handmade chocolates with a card to someone else.  It was a memorable gift, but not so thoughtful.  This doesn’t mean all resifting is bad. It can be a good option. You just need to be thoughtful in your choices. Obviously, don’t regift perishable items, especially flowers and chocolates you received several months ago.  Choose items that are new or have a special meaning. For example, give your Valentine an unused candle you received along with a romantic poem.

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You could REPURPOSE something to make a new gift for your Valentine. For example, take all the corks from the wines you enjoyed on your trip to Napa Valley and turn them into a piece of art.  Perhaps a picture frame with a photo of the two of you in it.

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One of my favorite RECYCLE ideas for Valentine’s Day is to use the same card each year.  A friend and her husband have been resending the same cards to each other for 10 years.  Of course, this works best if you have the same Valentine from year to year.

Anthropomorphic_Valentine,_crica_1950

Finally, you can REVITALIZE your love and your garden by giving a living plant or seeds. If you plant a tree together that is something to enjoy together for years. Perhaps a Cherry Tree, which is a symbol of new romance, love and affection. Or a Wisteria Tree (not vine), which is a symbol of romance and the mysteries of a great and enduring love.  Many trees have special meanings at http://www.universeofsymbolism.com/tree-symbolism.html.

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You could also give chili pepper seeds with a note about spicy love or keeping the fire burning in your heart.

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Herbs also make great gifts.  My favorite herbs are Rosemary, which symbolizes remembrance, and Lavendar, a symbol of love and devotion.

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Of course you can always give flowers that can be planted in your garden or kept indoors. I still have the bougainvillea my first Valentine gave to me.  A living plant is a very special gift that can continue to serve as a reminder of your love.  Learn the meanings of other flowers and herbs at:  http://www.victorianbazaar.com/meanings.html.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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About Pamela Turner

I am an Associate Professor and Extension Housing & Environment Specialist at the University of Georgia. I have a passion for helping people improve their home environment and live greener and healthier lives. An important part of that is helping people weed through all of the information to find trustworthy sources. www.gafamilies.org/home

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