This year make love, not waste

Column by Renee Sutton
Column by Renee Sutton

Those roses may cost you an arm and a leg, but they could be costing the environment even more.

Valentine’s Day creates a large demand for chocolates and imported roses. It also sends a lot of packaging to the landfills.

There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the love in your life, but there are ways to express appreciation for each other that won’t leave a large carbon footprint.

Keep it local 

A zero-waste holiday is nearly impossible, but there are ways to reduce your impact by shopping locally and opting for homemade treats instead of paper cards.

In 2012, Canada imported 9.8-million bouquets of roses – fourteen times more than it produced.

Most imported roses come from South America and are shipped by plane, just to die on your kitchen table five days later.

Houseplants may not scream romance, but they can be a great alternative to roses because they last much longer. Bamboo and cactus plants, for example, require little maintenance and last for years.

Cocoa is also imported, but this can’t be avoided when you need to get your chocolate fix. Buying from local chocolatiers reduces your impact by keeping the manufacturing process close to home.

Purdy’s Chocolates in Pacific Centre Mall, and Rogers’ Chocolates on Granville Island are both B.C. based.

Think homemade

Traditional cards are endearing, but like roses, they are often tossed out after the holiday.

Bake heart-shaped cookies for your friends or have a get together and exchange words of admiration instead of paper.

Honestly, would you rather have a card or a cookie in your hand? I thought so.

So get out there and show your friends and family you love them, but make an effort to reduce your environmental impact and show you love Mother Nature as well.

Reported by Renee Sutton

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