By Qori Broaster February 12, 2018

Valentine’s Day is days away and if you’re anything like myself, you haven’t planned a thing and don’t intend to until February 14th. Do better. Sure, you can do the usual flowers, generic card, expensive-for-no-reason dinner, and call it a night, but why not kick it up a notch or seven in a cheaper and climate-friendly fashion?

Valentine’s Day Card

Your first thought is to go to your local pharmacy and rummage through the card section for their best “thinking of you” card, but nothing is better than a handmade gift from the heart. Look around the house, under the bed, in the old notebooks you’ve hoarded since the 7th grade. I guarantee there’s literally pounds of old paper just waiting to be reused. Recycle the materials you already own to create a masterpiece of a card.


The amount of energy and fuel that goes into the bouquet you purchase is quite unnecessary as it will die a few days later, don’t you think? Most cut flowers are grown in various parts of the world, such as South America, Europe and Africa, and then transported for miles and miles across the world to various flower shops. Your first alternative would be to buy locally and ask questions about the origins of your flowers. Your best alternative, however, is to grab your partner and plant something together. You will get to watch it grow, it will last way longer— especially if you’ve been blessed with a green thumb. Additionally, those flowers will help to clear the air you breathe by removing carbon dioxide and providing oxygen. Also, this experience is better than just staring at some already-dying flowers … I’m just saying.

Five-Star Dining

I already know your last-minute plan will DEFINITELY involve dinner. If not, wyd? No need to pick the perfect restaurant this year and pray there are open reservations. In this age of Netflix and chill, not only is it extremely acceptable to never leave the house … ever … but it’s also an opportunity to flex your creative muscles and assist in the fight against climate change.

Food waste is a huge global problem, especially in the restaurant business. A majority of the unused food is thrown away and a small amount is donated. While restaurants are doing their part to lessen their impact, here’s what you can do to help. Go online, choose a fun recipe, and you and your date can bond over the stove. Very romantic! I recommend going for a meal that has as little meat as possible. Livestock produces a good amount of greenhouse gas emissions, and greenhouse gases are a no! They literally trap heat and our planet is sick and tired of it. By cooking, you have more control over the portions cooked and have a say on what to do with the unused food. If you find yourself with leftovers from your amazing dinner, I highly recommend going the ever-so-popular leftover route, but there is also the option of gathering that food, along with the other things cluttering up your fridge, and donate to local food banks. Look at that! You get to stay home, cook a meal, have leftovers, show love to those in need, and save some coins.

More Chocolate!

Chocolate and wine (for those of you who are over the age of 21 and not a day younger) are popular go-to’s during this holiday, and you better enjoy them while you can. Climate change is negatively impacting the environmental conditions for cocoa beans and wine grapes. In short, this means that chocolate and wine may no longer be a thing. I can imagine first, due to low supply and a forever high demand, they will be ridiculously expensive just before they disappear, and I’m not a fan of either result. This Valentine’s Day, your fight against climate change is a small step in the direction of keeping these things alive. In the meantime, buy locally and organic, and enjoy all the chocolate!

Unplug your devices, experience some real-life FaceTime, and have an amazing Valentine’s Day! I predict that this will be very memorable and a learning experience for everyone involved.

You are absolutely welcome for the plans, by the way. #DefendOurFuture

Qori B. is a graphic designer from New York City.