There are few greater turn-offs than gazing into the eyes of your beloved knowing they just overlooked a recycling bin and tossed an empty soda bottle into the trash. Yes, perhaps had they seen the recycling bin they would have used it, but this overt display of obliviousness brings up the whole question of just how aware they are of what’s going on in this relationship. It’s a neurotic thought, but love makes people crazy, right?
Don’t risk coming off as ignorant this Valentine’s Day and spoil your sweetheart the eco-friendly way – being “blinded” by love is no excuse.
Deep down we all miss the thrill of unexpectedly receiving a handmade valentine. Whether or not you’re a Martha Stewart, crafting a heart-shaped card out of recycled materials – think the interior of cereal boxes, the ribbon handles from a Victoria’s Secret bag or the Queen of Hearts from an incomplete deck of cards – shows you put time and effort into something for your better half.
If you’re planning on dazzling your date with your cooking skills, opt for local ingredients that are sold in as little packaging as possible. Bring your reusable bag down to the Fair Food Farm Stand at the Reading Terminal Market for a variety of produce, dairy products and meat sourced from sustainable farms within Pennsylvania and New Jersey. When dinner is served, don’t forget to dim the lights to set the mood and decrease your electricity consumption.
For some of us, however, the kitchen is a war zone equipped with an arsenal of appliances ready to sabotage our suave air of romance with a fit of cursing and a frantic fight with the fire alarm. No need to panic, because Philly is brimming with restaurants serving locally sourced fare for all budgets.
Yumtown food truck, typically parked on the corner of 13th and Norris Streets, offers dishes for less than $10 that contain ingredients from nearby farms. White Dog Café at 3420 Sansom St. serves up pricier meals sourced from sustainable farms in a cozy romantic dining room. To truly impress your eco-minded mate, head over to Talula’s Garden at 210 W. Washington Square for the city’s only sustainable wine list.
Finish the night off as any self-respecting romantic would: With lots of chocolate. Resist Rite Aid’s sale on Dove chocolates and purchase some sweets from a local candy shop instead. Shane’s Candies at 110 Market St. whips up decadent confections that perfectly complement the elaborate Victorian décor of the candy shop, which has housed candy-makers since 1863.
Of course, the most sustainable V-Day involves zero consumption, as the production of most goods has an impact on the environment. If your sweetheart’s looking to show Mother Nature some love too, “I love you” and a smooch should be enough to make them swoon.
Marisa Steinberg can be reached at email@example.com.