Be Our Valentine

Despite Valentine’s Day being an excuse for the world of things to push all that glitters, cards that pop open and sing, and overpriced bouquets of roses into our collective hands, there is a certain amount of nostalgic sentiment attached to the holiday, and some of us enjoy celebrating it despite all the fuss, in our own way (especially if that involves chocolate, fresh flowers and good food). 

Many of the gifts traditionally given - whether to woo or to re-woo - are produced or gathered in sectors typically mired in exploitation. Think blood diamonds, child-labor-produced chocolate (and silks, lace, and flowers). This holiday is actually a huge opportunity to let brands and businesses know where our values are, and to spend money on items that support our values, or do something outside-of-the-box romantic that costs nothing except your time :) Jessica Salazar, the fantastic blogger behind All there August, captures my thoughts exactly when it comes to giving gifts from the heart rather than the store. Read her 5 Unique Sustainable Valentine’s Gift and Date Ideas and be inspired - and send a note or leave a comment if you have anything to add!

I had some ideas I was planning to share on buying local, sustainable gifts that are beautiful & useful, but the day is here, and if you're reading this you probably know all of them already. Let's buy less and do more.

What I'd really like to say is, for today, give as much love as you can, in as many ways as you can. 

My mom arrived from North Carolina yesterday - she's very crafty (she uses recycled textiles to make memory quilts, teddy bears, aprons, anything). She's also my hero. Gramma Sus came bearing red fabric with polka dots and some crazy ribbon she picked up at a thrift shop, and she and little A created the most beautiful Valentine's box for school cards - next-to-free - and all I could hear for over an hour was laughing and banter between them. We made his class cards from paint sample cards pilfered from the hardware store, a heart hole punch, and some ribbon I had lying around from the holidays - now they're bookmarks! Not quite zero-waste, but at least they have a purpose beyond what they were created for.

This creative idea came from the depths of A's imagination.

 This grand plan came from  BuzzFeed  via Pinterest (of course). 

This grand plan came from BuzzFeed via Pinterest (of course). 

How are you celebrating today? How are you showing love and gratitude to the people in your life, and the world at large? Comment below, or share your DIY Valentine ideas on our fb page!