February 12, 2022

Alternative Ideas this Valentine's Day

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For a while, Valentine’s Day in the United States has had symbols such as the heart shaped box of chocolates, a bouquet of roses, and romantic dinners to show your love for those you care about. Not everyone may have access to displaying their love for loved ones through these cultural symbols on Valentine’s Day however. Rather, this special day can be used to explore other forms of showing love built more on experience rather than the many disposable symbols of our Valentine's Day culture. 

Donate

A non-consumptive gift idea that a loved one will appreciate this Valentine’s Day is donation through TreeUtah. Your donation to us allows you the option to select a tree for them, which is a great way to show your love through a physical symbol to that special person.  We can send a personalized message through card or email to let them know about the tribute at your request too. Donating through our memorial tree program at Sugar House Park is another option.

With our mission to make Utah a better place to live, we will use these donations for the trees we will plant at our planting events in the spring.  Know that each and every donation we receive will in turn help us plant more trees that will grow, bloom, and strengthen year after year just as your bond with a loved one will grow stronger year after year. We have many exciting volunteer opportunities like our upcoming tree planting events. You can register as a volunteer this spring. Follow for our updates about these events through our events page, our Facebook, or through Now Playing Utah.

Get Outside

Next, an inexpensive thing to do on Valentine’s Day is an outdoor activity. We do live in the  beautiful state of Utah, so take advantage of it. An outdoor activity can be in the form of going on a hike or even gathering up a picnic dinner and eating it under the night sky. Order takeout by supporting local or make a simple meal from home and bring it with you. Leave your worries behind, bundle up, and enjoy the great outdoors and being in the moment with loved ones through this simple idea.

The Impact of Buying Flowers

The options are truly endless on how to spend your Valentine’s Day not in the form of heart shaped boxes of chocolate, roses, or expensive romantic dinners. While we are not saying that these are still not great ways to show you care for your loved ones, the floriculture industry for those bouquets of flowers bought in the United States and globally for days like Valentine’s Day isn’t without its problems.

In 2015, floriculture constituted 17% of imports into the United States and as of 2018, Columbia is one of the largest exporters of flowers like roses. The process of getting non domestic flowers from place to place is a relatively short process hopping from one country to the next because of the priority to maintain the utmost freshness of the flowers. Though the typical time frame flowers take to transport can vary based on the location they ship from.

In the beginning of their long journey from field or greenhouse to store to the ultimate goal of vases in our homes, flowers are refrigerated at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit while on a plane. The energy costs of constant refrigeration along with the greenhouse gas emissions of an airplane, freight trucks, and cars to get flowers to their final destinations begins to add up at a heavy cost. Carbon dioxide emissions from a plane ride alone constitutes a ratio of three kilograms of carbon dioxide per 1 kilogram of fuel

While this very briefly covers some of the far-reaching environmental impacts associated with non-domestic rose production, supporting locally grown roses, opting for outdoor activities, or donating this Valentine’s Day are the more sustainable choices. What will you choose to do for Valentine’s Day?