Going Green Saves You Green on Valentine’s Day
Challenge #3: A Green Valentine’s Day?
What is Valentine’s Day? Most of us agree that Christmas is commercial, yet still we get caught up in the “spirit of the season” of giving gifts. So why not get caught up in the romantic moment afforded us on Valentine’s Day with giving some love to those whom we truly care about? Despite the dismissiveness of those not wanting to get conned by the capitalistic notions of romance, I look at Valentine’s Day as a way to show how unique my love is for my very creative wife. Therefore, I see Valentine’s Day as a day to share with my love a special moment of my time, give a bit of myself in words put to paper, and reward her with a homemade dessert as a token of the sweetness she brings to my life.
When it comes to being a romantic guy, this is not a huge leap for me after watching my dad do special things for my mom year after year. What is a big step is to think local and to be as thoughtful to Mother Nature as I am to my beautiful wife.
So Easy a Caveman Can Do It. On Friday I was out running errands and decided that I would spring for some red roses for my lovely bride. If you thought she’d be delighted when she walked into the door, you’d be mistaken! My wife is a conservationist at heart: if there was a choice between an afternoon with mountain gorillas or a week with me anywhere in the world, my wife would send me a photo of her in the Congo smiling with a silverback. Apparently, she had e-mailed me a list of “green efforts” we could do for Valentine’s while I was out “pillaging and plundering the Earth.” So while she kissed me her appreciation, there was a bit of sighing at my Neanderthal-like effort.
Organically Challenged. Sharon and I belong to a farm co-op where on Wednesdays we get delivered a fresh supply of fruits and vegetables from an Illinois farmer. This is generally an exercise in “name that food” since parsnips, squash, brussels sprouts, and other items we do not normally buy are in our basket. Recipe books get a workout as we’ve had to be resourceful with incorporating items before we give up and have to toss out expired produce. Butternut squash soup is our winter seasonal favorite, which we agreed on for our Valentine’s dinner.
Life is Sweeter Together. Growing up in California, I readily identify red, juicy strawberries (locally grown) and champagne (Temecula’s Wilson Creek Winery) with Valentine’s. But now we live in Chicago, and the thought of presenting my beloved with closer-to-home items like a juicy bratwurst and chilled Pabst Blue Ribbon didn’t seem as poetic. Instead, I compromised. I went to Stanley’s, a local produce store with a robust selection of organic fruits and veggies. Bagging items in our San Diego Zoo green shopping bags, I purchased plump, stemmed organic strawberries, which I took home and dipped in organic chocolate I melted in a saucepan and chilled in the fridge. Despite the fact that Illinois has wineries, I decided not to subject my wife to such…surprises. I picked up a bottle of Wilson Creek’s Almond Champagne when we were in San Diego last and will serve that with my homemade chocolate-dipped strawberries.
True Words Spoken = True Love Unbroken. Hallmark may guilt us into going along with Valentine’s Day rituals, but sentiments from the heart resonate better, and will be cherished longer, than any item with a barcode. Your special someone—and Mother Nature—will appreciate all efforts to avoid wasteful, disposable gifts that aren’t true to your heart, or hers.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Read a previous post from the Dewar-Yates family, Keeping Warmer for Cheaper.