Go Green This Valentine’s Day

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Consider purchasing used items first.
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Green is the new red for Valentine's Day.
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The Green Year offers 365 suggestions for going green.

Make “green” the new red this Valentine’s Day. Show love for the planet by altering some traditional activities, making February a greener, more eco-friendly month. For example, Jodi Helmer, author of The Green Year, suggests:

  • Ordering organic roses for your Valentine, grown without pesticides or preservatives.
  • Surprising your Valentine with a candle lit dinner, turning the lights out saves energy.
  • Toasting your Valentine with organic wine produced locally (they travel the shortest distance from vineyard to table).
  • Snapping photographs of your Valentine with a digital camera, print your favorite images and store the rest electronically.
  • Considering the purchase of a piece of estate jewelry, the ultimate in reducing, reusing and recycling.

Going green is no small task. It takes a real commitment to change and for those who live a fast-paced, convenience-oriented lifestyle, the challenge can be more than a little daunting. What’s the answer? Take it one day at a time. Break down that giant commitment into 365 daily routines that will help make the planet a better place.

In her book, Helmer provides simple and inexpensive eco-friendly ideas for each day of the year. Organized by date, the green living tips suggest small changes and environmentally friendly ideas that make a big green impact. Flip to April for ideas on greening the garden or turn to November for ideas for a green Thanksgiving celebration.

The Green Year (December 2008, Alpha Books) is more than a calendar. It offers practical, affordable, and engaging activities that help make going green a blessing rather than a burden. Daily ideas include:

  • August 18 – Place tennis balls in the dryer to speed up the drying time as well as fluff up items like comforters and pillows.
  • September 14 – Purchase a one-gallon container of milk instead of two half-gallons.
  • May 26 – Plant mint in your garden for a natural solution to keep mice at bay.
  • July 17 – Try the 100-mile diet – eat food that is grown within 100 miles of your home.

In addition to these easy green suggestions, readers will find:

  • The “why” behind each activity – what makes it good for the environment and the reader?
  • A quick “how-to” for any activity that requires additional explanation (most do not).
  • Room for readers to write in their own creative alternatives.
  • Illustrations where extra clarification is needed.

Helmer is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about eco-friendly topics from her home in Charlotte, North Carolina. Contact her through her website.

Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., publishes high- quality lifestyle and reference books in 30 different categories. The Complete Idiot’s Guides®, Alpha Teach Yourself in 24 Hours, At Your Fingertips – as well as other series and stand-alone titles – provide helpful how-to information and general knowledge in an easily accessible manner.