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Show love for the Earth this Valentine’s Day

Posted by on Monday, February 6, 2012 in Dining, News, Waste & Recycling.

Valentine’s Day, February 14, is a day filled with cards, sweets, flowers and gifts. Like many holidays, its celebration can create unintentional environmental side effects, such as the consumption of natural resources and the generation of solid waste. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

When showing their affection for each other, Americans tend to go all out. For example:

196 million roses: The number produced for Valentine’s Day in 2011, according to the Society of American Florists.

141 million Valentine’s Day cards: The number exchanged each year (not including packaged kids’ Valentines for classroom exchanges), according to Hallmark. This makes Valentine’s Day the second-largest holiday for giving greeting cards.

$15.7 billion: The amount Americans were expected to spend on Valentine’s Day merchandise in 2011, according to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation.

Here are some suggestions for showing the Earth some affection, while celebrating with those near and dear to you:

Send an e-Valentine in lieu of a paper Valentine. If sending a paper Valentine, be certain to send one that is printed on paper containing recycled-content. Don’t forget to recycle Valentines you have received that you aren’t keeping!

Give organic or locally-grown flowers, a potted plant, a tree seedling, or a perennial plant instead of the traditional bouquet of flowers. Trees well suited for the southeastern United States include oaks, maples, redbuds, crape myrtles, dogwoods, and tulip poplars. Perennials suitable for the southeastern United States include roses, chrysanthemums, peonies, and hostas.

Give organic or fair-trade chocolates. Organic chocolates are produced in an eco-friendly manner without the use of pesticides, and fair-trade chocolates ensure that cacao farmers work in healthy, sustainable, and safe environments while receiving a fair wage for their products.

Make a donation to an environmental organization on behalf of your Valentine. Several organizations you might consider include the TN Wildlife Federation, Nature Conservancy of TN, Land Trust for TN, TN Parks & Greenways, World Wildlife Fund, Harpeth River Watershed Association, Clean Air Partnership of Middle TN, TN Environmental Council, and Arbor Day Foundation.

Plan a trip to a wildlife reserve, park or natural area. Your business will help support the running of such establishments. Several destinations you might consider include TN State Parks, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in TN, TN Natural Areas Program, TN Sustainable Tourism, and U.S. National Parks in TN.

Arrange dinner at a local restaurant that specializes in organic or locally-grown food, or make your own romantic meal with locally-grown ingredients. Eating locally reduces the number of miles that your food travels to you and supports local establishments. Cooking your own meal will also save gas and money while avoiding greenhouse gas emissions.

Commit to going green at work and home. Several easy ideas include turning lights off when leaving the room, shutting down your computer at the end of the day, creating a dedicated home recycling area, washing only full loads of dishes and laundry, moderating your thermostat when leaving your house or office for extended periods of time, unplugging appliances not in use, and printing or using both sides of paper when possible.

Have an idea for celebrating Valentine’s Day sustainability that isn’t mentioned? Tell us about it! Email the Sustainability Librarian with your suggestion.

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This is so very sad. We must learn to be more mindful of how our actions today effect our home, the Earth.

 

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The Earth is not a trash can! Please don’t treat it like one.

waste not want not

Dear person driving the green sedan in front of me on the highway,

Tonight I was on my way to a sustainability event sponsored by the environmental non-profit associate board I serve on. I was driving along, listening to the radio, and minding my own business.

We were driving in the middle lane of the highway when your next action really stuck with me. You didn’t brake suddenly, or swerve into another lane endangering other drivers.

Instead, you rolled down your window and tossed some wrappers out onto the road, as if it were your own personal trash can. My jaw legitimately dropped and hung open for a good five minutes as a million questions ran through my mind.

How could you do that?

Why couldn’t you have just waited to where you were going to throw out those wrappers?

Who taught you that it was okay to litter?

What gives…

View original post 138 more words

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Here is a very sustainable cosmetics company.

waste not want not

I legitimately had no idea shampoo came in bar form.

After reading an article about LUSH Handmade Cosmetics and how they are striving for reduced packaging (I unfortunately cannot find the article I originally read), I decided to finally step into LUSH. To be honest, all this time I had avoided Lush because I found the the smell of the store so over-powering. All I thought was, “I do not want to smell like that LUSH store.”

But I went in, and I asked about their lack of packaging and for some suggestions about curly/wavy hair. I left with these purchases:

Honey I Washed My Hair Shampoo Barshampoo bar

I don’t think I had ever been so excited to wash my hair when I got home (and I hate washing my hair). First of all, it smells AMAZING. Like I could stand there all day and smell it.

In the shower, it works…

View original post 237 more words

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Some great ideas to go paperless when cleaning.

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Cleaning up our planet one piece of trash at a time.

Trash is everywhere. Soda cans, plastic bags, and cigarette butts litter the environment, choke wildlife, and threaten our planet. By combining technology, social awareness and art, the Litterati is tackling this ever-escalating problem one piece of litter at a time.

Let’s see how many photos we can take using Instagram at Nashville State Community College, including cigarette butts. After taking the picture and posting it, don’t forget to either recycle it or put it in a landfill trash can.

Post to Litterati on Instagram using #litterati.

 

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