Sustainable Valentine’s

I wrote this story for my JRN 472 class in Feburary 2011.

Are you still trying to make plans for that special someone on Monday?  Instead of buying an overly-packaged box of chocolates, consider one of these three date ideas for a green Valentine’s Day.

1.  Spend the night in and make your sweetie a locally grown meal. There are plenty of recipes on the internet, such as at and, for dishes using local winter vegetables. Along with supporting the local economy and reducing fuel consumption, you will also reduce food and paper waste that would have gone into a restaurant meal. For a list of markets in your area visit

2. Enjoy the winter weather. Be eco-friendly and active at the same time by taking a nice winter walk, going on a snowshoe trail or enjoying some cross-country skiing. The seclusion can make the activity even more romantic as paths probably won’t be too crowded on Valentine’s Day. You and your date can even take it a step further by having a picnic along the trail (with locally produced food, of course). Just make sure to bundle up and bring some hot chocolate.

3. Go on an eco-vacation. It’s not too late to book a one, two or five night green getaway. Orbitz has a great selection of environmentally-minded hotels in all areas of the world. You can even offset the carbon used to travel to your destination by buying carbon offsets at or If you are unfamiliar with eco-tourism, visit


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