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Sustainable Love

Though “The Holiday Season,” is now officially behind us, there’s always another one just around the corner. Whether you see Valentine’s Day as an invention of the card industry to continue sales into the new year, or you feel as though it’s the one day out of the year that you can truly tell your loved ones how you feel, February 14th is quickly approaching. I know those gifts in the seasonal aisle of the grocery store look really appealing, but there are many ways to show you care that are a lot less likely to end up in a landfill so quickly. I’m sure your honey would love the sentiment, but does your house really need another teddy bear holding a heart-shaped pillow? As you look for creative ways to treat others – or yourself – this Valentine’s Day, keep the following options in mind:

Love Local. If homemade gifts and cards aren’t your forte, find a neighbor who is bursting with creativity. Check out markets and craft fairs to support local farmers, artists, and other craftspeople. Locally or homemade chocolate is a great alternative to the boxed kind at the grocery; you can’t go wrong with Kentucky bourbon balls! Also think local when planning Valentine’s Day outings by looking for restaurants that highlight local, in-season ingredients on their menu. Bonus points if your find is made from repurposed materials!

Let your Love Grow. Instead of purchasing flowers that may have been farmed unsustainably and likely travelled a long way between being cut and being bought, give your loved one a living plant. Living plants last much longer and are much better for the environment. Try a potted, flowering plant or get one that you can eventually place in your yard and watch grow, like a native pawpaw tree or blueberry shrub.

Spread the Love. Spend your Valentine’s Day giving back to your community! Volunteer at a local nonprofit with family and friends or give to those in need in lieu of less meaningful gifts to your loved ones. Share your home, and the love of those who live in it, by adopting an animal from your local humane society.

Love your Mother. Mother Nature, that is! Bundle up and spend some time outdoors this February. People tend to forget about litter cleanups in the colder months, so make an effort to pick up your neighborhood for a few minutes each day during the week of Valentine’s day to show some love to your community. Check out other outdoor events happening in conjunction with Valentine’s Day, such as Kentuckians for the Commonwealth’s 10th annual I Love Mountains day happening in Frankfort on February 12th. Organized events are a great way to meet people with similar interests and can get you out of the house if you’re fighting the Valentine’s Day – or simply the cold weather – blues.

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