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Tips for a Sustainable Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2018

By Erin Gunter, MS

Valentine’s Day is often celebrated by giving loved ones cards, flowers, and candies. As a result, the holiday creates a significant amount of waste. This blog post is dedicated to thinking outside the traditional store-bought Valentine’s Day gift box by providing you with more sustainable options for celebrating with your loved ones. Our sustainable suggestions are for everyone (whether you have a date or not), whether you are spending the day with your family, or whether or not you celebrate the holiday at all. You can utilize these suggestions any day of the year.

Create your own Valentine’s Day card

Instead of purchasing a card at the store, think about using more sustainable methods to make your own card. For example, you could make a digital card or you could visit the local scrap exchange to make a card using recycled materials. Not only will you be more sustainable, but you could earn bonus points for your effort and personal touch.

Purchase gifts that are Fair-Trade Certified

If you want to purchase chocolates or other sweets, you might want to check the label to make sure you are purchasing a Fair-Trade Certified product. These products create positive social and environmental impact. Fair-Trade items are not just limited to chocolates and sweets; you could purchase jewelry, coffee, wine, etc.

Rethink how you give flowers

Flowers are beautiful and smell amazing, which is why people love to give and receive them. If you are one of those people that like to give flowers, consider going to a local farmers market to see what locally sourced flowers are in season. You could also check out what other plants, such as herb plants or perennials, are available. With an herb plant, the recipient can not only enjoy the smell and beauty of the plant, but also further utilize the herbs in cooking. With a perennial, the recipient could plant them in their yard in the spring, and they’ll provide years of happiness in the form of beautiful flowers, colorful foliage, and/or wonderful scents.

Plan an activity or event

Rather than just spending your money on items, you could focus on planning an event or taking a class together. Not only would you be creating memories together, but you both might develop some new skills. Some ideas could be:

  • Cooking class
  • Massage or bodywork technique class
  • Museum or art gallery
  • Local venue for a concert or play
  • Go for a hike

Eat a locally sourced meal

Whether you are interested in going out on the town or eating at home, you can look for locally sourced ingredients. A number of restaurants are now farm-to-table and/or they utilize organic ingredients. If you are going out to eat, you can call ahead to the restaurant or look them up online to see if they utilize these types of ingredients. If you are not interested in fighting with the crowds of people that already have reservations on Valentine’s Day, you can go to your local farmers market and pick up food that is currently in season and make your own home-cooked sustainable meal.

Are you interested in attending a massage and bodywork class?

Duke Integrative Medicine’s Integrative Reflexology workshop with Claire Marie Miller may be a perfect fit. In this workshop, attendees will learn the basic techniques of foot and hand reflexology. After the workshop, you will be able to utilize these techniques with your loved ones (or with your clients if you are a massage therapist). Click here to learn more and register before February 23rd to receive a 10% early registration discount.

Experiential workshop description from instructor, Claire Marie Miller:

Reflexology is as old as walking barefoot—our bare feet are pumiced by rocks, roots and leaves, stimulated by the texture of the Earth, and serve as a connection between the magnetic energy flowing through the Earth and our own nervous system. Stimulating the feet for healing purposes is known to have been part of the ancient health care modalities used by our ancestors all over the world. Many ancient cultures directly connected the health of the body to the health of the feet.

Integrative Reflexology® is a four-theory approach to reflexology. Each of the four theories serves as a different lens for understanding how reflexology works and how we can view the body in a holistic way. By considering four different theories we, as practitioners, are honoring the complexity of the human body and the complexity of what our client is experiencing. This approach creates space for the body’s innate wisdom to provide the healing offered through an Integrative Reflexology® session.

The four theories include Structural Alignment Theory, Zone Theory, Meridian Theory and Psychoneuroimmunology Theory. The Integrative Reflexology® method is a whole-hand technique that is easier for the therapist to give and more enjoyable for the client to receive. Developed by Claire Marie Miller specifically for massage therapists, Integrative Reflexology® is more than a technique, it is an experience.


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