Teens Turning Green Blog

Eco-Love is in the Air

Valentine’s Day is Sunday and love is in the air! People across the country will be spending the holiday expressing their gratitude for each other with valentines, candy, flowers, and other tokens of love.

Despite loving intentions, the effort that is put into making people feel loved on Valentine’s Day impacts the well-being of Mother Earth.  But who says we can’t combine love for the planet with love for the people? So we are preparing you with some tips to achieve that goal and to  celebrate an Eco-Valentine’s Day !


Photo Credit: TG Summer Interns @ Amy’s Drive-Thru, Rohnert Park, CA

Think Outside the Box- Literally!

A common misconception about holidays is that physical objects are the only means to express appreciation. But, when you think about it, the best gifts are often those that are unplanned, things you just happen to find that make you think of someone. When you feel compelled to purchase a gift just because it’s a holiday, you end up with stuffed animals that remain untouched in a corner, too much candy that goes bad, clothing that you don’t like or doesn’t fit,  and other waste that will most likely end up in landfill.


That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with getting a loved one a beautiful necklace or other objects that are meant to last a lifetime. In fact, Turning Green curates Conscious Collection gift packages to satisfy consumer needs in a way that also supports environmentally friendly and socially responsible companies so you can feel good about where your money is going!

Share a Memory

Given the choice between a giant teddy bear with a candy bouquet or an adventure to a gorgeous park with a thermos of hot cocoa, your special someone will probably cherish the adventure most.19672819853_df44d6d2a0_c If the weather isn’t great for an outdoor day trip, how about a romantic expedition to a spa, movie theater, museum, or farm-to-table restaurant. If money is tight, never underestimate the romance of spending a day at home in your pajamas, watching movies and cuddling, playing board games, and cooking a FLOSN (fresh local organic seasonal non-GMO)  homemade (maybe even vegan!) meal.

Woo Your Dear Ones with DIY


Upcycled pasta jar lights


A great way to show love is by making something by hand. Do-it-yourself (DIY) gifts are one of a kind, and the recipient will feel extra special knowing that you took the time to do it just for them. Along with the thought, it can be less expensive, since most DIY projects are made with common household items. Check out Turning Green’s DIY Pinterest Board for inspiration!

Show Some Local (and Organic) Love!


Photo from TG’s Conscious Kitchen program

According to CNN, consumers spend about $2 billion on flowers and candy each Valentine’s Day. It’s safe to assume that most money goes to buy conventional flowers that deplete our planet’s natural resources. Most flowers are grown in monoculture fields requiring the use of pesticides, eliminating biodiversity and harming soil nutrients, and water, (which is becoming an increasingly valuable commodity). The candy is often made with artificial flavors and high fructose corn syrup, and then wrapped individually in plastic impacting us and the environment. But you can enjoy the  goods without the guilt!

  • Try purchasing flowers from a local vendor that encourages organic growing and biodiversity
  • Pick up some yummy organic candy in the bulk bins at most green grocers

Email or Upcycle

You might also consider sending your Valentine’s Day cards via email. With words from the heart, a great font, and some graphic design, a virtual letter can feel just as personal as one that is hand-written. Approximately 151 million cards are exchanged each Valentine’s Day, which requires a lot of trees to be cut down and produces way too much waste if not recycled properly. If handwritten letters make your heart sing, consider using a piece of upcycled cardboard or even making a magazine collage card!peasinapod

Show that you care about people and the planet this Sunday and have a very happy Eco-Valentine’s Day!

Megan Fuerst is a junior at The Ohio State University majoring in ‘Environment, Economy, Development & Sustainability’ with a specialization in Economics and Policy Analysis. She is originally from Cleveland, OH and is the current President of Turning Green’s Student Advisory Board.

This entry was published on February 11, 2016 at 11:58 pm and is filed under Holidays, Inspiration, Live, People + Places. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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