5 tips to have an eco-friendly Valentine’s Day

This month, appreciate your loved ones—and the environment—with gestures designed for lasting impact.

Say it with seeds

Instead of traditional greeting cards, get plantable ones that will transform your Valentine’s Day message into blooms of garden color.

Choose the flowers without the foam 

Before you grab that bouquet, take a peek at the base: Many arrangements are packed with floral foam, a crumbly plastic that often ends up in waterways. Avoid it when possible—and never wash it down the sink.

Let love take root 

Most of the cut flowers sold in the United States are imported, meaning they’ve probably flown more miles than you have lately. A locally grown plant is an eco-friendly and longer-lasting alternative.

Sweet and sustainable

Farming the cacao beans used in chocolaty treats can have a bitter side: razed forests and mistreated, underpaid labor. To confirm that the cacao meets environmental, social, and sustainability standards, look for the seal of third-party certifiers such as the Rainforest Alliance

Sow joy, skip plastic

Don’t buy seedlings and the disposable plastic containers that come with them. Start plants at home. The Old Farmer’s Almanac has a handy calendar that tells you when: almanac.com/gardening/planting-calendar.

For more stories about how to help the planet, go to natgeo.com/planet

This story appears in the February 2022 issue of National Geographic magazine.

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