Roses are red
Violets are blue
Grass is green
Valentine’s Day can be too

Ok, perhaps I am not a poet, but my pathetic attempt at rhyming has a point (of sorts) within its clichéd words. Valentine’s day is almost upon us, a glorious day in which people feel bullied into being unnaturally romantic for a twenty four hour period of time in the middle of February. Singles feel more acutely aware of their singleness and couples-even those who recognize the foolishness of this Hallmark holiday- feel the need to not disappoint their mate by ignoring this day altogether. Both singles and couples alike can agree that this holiday is decidedly unfriendly to the environment.

As with most of occurrences in life, I can not help but to relate it back to an episode of The Simpsons. Homer, Marge and their spiky hair offspring are shown celebrating “Love Day”, a holiday invented by a fictional store named Costigans to boost sales. When this “holiday” comes to a close, a huge pile of trash is compiled, its contents include an adorable teddy bear named Sir-Loves-A lot- the bear that loves to love.

To avoid your own mountain of love debris, try to take an environmentally friendly approach to Valentine’s Day this year. You can try to convince your mate that forgoing all presents is the most eco-friendly way to spend the holiday, but let’s face it- sleeping on the couch is not a fun prospect.

Greeting Cards: Greeting cards filled with sentimental jargon are without a doubt the least eco-friendly part of Valentine’s day. Instead of picking out a card this year with Snoopy on its cover with a poem resembling the masterpiece above inside, consider taking a greener approach to telling the one you love exactly how you feel. You can start by speaking  it to them. Telling someone how much they mean to you is not only romantic, but pretty darn eco-friendly. If you still need to see your feelings in print, send an e-mail greeting card. If you are feeling particularly crafty, consider assembling your own card from recycled goods from around your abode. If you are feeling cryptic- consider writing a message to your beloved on your steamed up bathroom mirror with your finger. You can tell her a ghost did it – nothing is as romantic as an good ol’-fashioned Valentine’s prank.

Chocolate: One of the most prevailing images associated with this holiday-besides the semi-naked baby wielding a bow and arrow- is the box of chocolates shaped like a heart. As romantic as heart-shaped cardboard is, the truth of the matter is that it is what’s inside the box that counts. Do not fret, you can still get your sweetie her delicious chocolates, just make sure they are Fair Trade and/or Organic. Check out companies such as Equal ExchangeDivine Chocolate, or Dagoba Chocolates for tasty and ethical treats. For more ideas on organic and Fair Trade chocolates, some more V-day inspired than others, check out this list by The Daily Green. Nothing says, “I love you, schnookums” like a tasty candy that is produced in the most conscientious manner possible.

Lingerie: A successful Valentine’s, more often than not, ends in the bedroom. Things can get a little PG-13 in there, so you may want to consider getting gussied up, eco-friendly style. Purchase adorable undergarments that are made from sustainable materials from companies such as Enamore. For more ideas of ethical unmentionables, take a look at this list! Then, crank up the Barry White and enjoy yourselves. (Warning: Barry White has been known to make the most pure among us slip our slacks off. Use with caution.)

Organic Wines: Sipping on a glass of wine is a key step in a successful romantic evening. If commercials for R & B  song collections have taught me anything, this wine should be drank by a roaring fire while gazing into your lover’s eyes. Being eco-friendly does not mean skipping out on this sensual tradition, simply get yourself a bottle of delicious organic wine.  Companies such as Frog’s Leap and Frey make their wine from organic grapes. Go the extra green mile and open this bottle of vino with this awesome bottle opener, which is made from recycled bike chains and pretty cool looking, to boot.

Jewelry:  If you can not resist giving your honey the gift of jewelry this Valentine’s Day, look for jewelry made from recycled goods. Pieces from companies like Upcycled Jewelry are  both lovely and unique- qualities perhaps shared with your sweetheart? You can use that line, free of charge, because compliments are the gift that keep on giving.

Flowers:  The presentation of a beautiful bouquet  is  not  only a way  for thoughtless sitcom husbands apologize to their nagging wives, it is also a way for real life couple’s to say, “Hey, you are pretty alright.” to their baby or muffin pie. Buying flowers locally that are in season, and whenever possible organic, is a way to double your romancing power-it is like amending your previous, “Hey, you are pretty alright” with a ,“and I think Mother Earth is pretty swell too.” Keeping mother earth happy is of utmost importance, for even if your relationship goes down in flames she will be there to catch your tears with  her soil. She is pretty considerate that way. But if you can’t purchase them locally or live in a wintery climate that doesn’t support blooms in February, consider sites like Organic Style to send flowers to your love.

Be Thoughtful: Romance is not about money spent, this Valentine’s day do something thoughtful for your better half. Even if it is something as simple as making them  a simple (hopefully organic) dinner or bringing them Fair Trade coffee in bed, it will show them that you appreciate and love them more than a dollar amount can express.

Have a happy Love Day….err, I mean, Valentine’s day, everyone.  We can all take a lesson from Sir-Loves-A lot and be sure that you love to love-meaning, whatever you do to celebrate, make sure it is not from a sense of duty but from a need to let your doodle bug how much they mean to you.

Try to do it the other 364 days a year too and you may just have yourself a lasting and happy relationship.

-Meghan Hurley & the AP Team