How to have a green Valentine's Day

In the face of the annual hype and commercialism, here's everything you need to know about saying 'I love you' sustainably - and with a little Vancouver quirkiness.

Everything you need to know about saying 'I love you' sustainably

In the face of the annual hype and commercialism, some Vancouverites want to say "I love you" more sustainably - and with more than a little quirk.

The David Suzuki Foundation is offering e-cards you can send to your sweetie as a way to go green, and help save the threatened Monarch butterfly.

The e-Valentines feature illustrations of the butterfly designed by an employee for the environmental non-profit organization and cost $20 each.

The foundation's communications specialist Jode Roberts said the profits will be used to help plant milkweed — the plant where Monarch butterflies lay their eggs and the monarch caterpillars’ main source of food.

"This winter when we found out the monarch numbers were at their all time low, our hearts were broken. So this is how we hope people help mend our broken heart," said Roberts.

Valentine's Day is also about opening your heart, and Semperviva Yoga is hoping to help couples and singles do just that.

The David Suzuki Foundation is offering e-cards you can send to your sweetie to help save the threatened Monarch butterfly. (CBC)

Founder Gloria Latham said 200 people have registered for their free 'Valentine's Day Yoga Dance Party,' to get that loving feeling flowing.

"We're doing a lot of heart opening poses [...] and we'll play a lot of fun and familiar love songs so we can sing our hearts out," said Latham.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Two more Vancouver businesses are offering ethical ways to say "I love you" — albeit more traditionally with flowers and chocolates.

Olla's Urban Flower Project in Gastown specializes in local blossoms and flowers grown using fewer pesticides. Owner Megan Branson even sources urban flowers, grown on backyard flower farms.

"We have a tonne of beautiful fair trade roses. We are also doing terrariums or potted plants for people who want something that is a little bit more long-lasting or less conventional," she said.

Meanwhile, at renowned chocolatier BETA 5, they're serious about their handcrafted sweets. Owner Adam Chandler says the chocolate is directly traded, so he "can be sure the farmers are winning in the equation."

"It's a little more expensive than some of the drug store or grocery store chocolate that you get, but there's definitely a difference in quality," he said.

What if you don't have time for Valentine's Day? Or just need help remembering to romance your loved one? There is, of course, an app for that.

The controversial Romantimatic app reminds you to shower your sweetheart with texts and even provides you with pre-programmed messages to help you declare your love.

Not necessarily the sweetest of sweet nothings, but definitely an innovative way to say 'I love you.'

With files from Meera Bains


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