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Make It a Green Valentine

No chocolate, no flowers, says enviro-Cupid

Posted: February 11, 2008 11:25 a.m.
Updated: April 13, 2008 2:03 a.m.
Share love, not waste.

That's the Valentine's Day message from Waste Management, which picks up the garbage throughout most of the Santa Clarita Valley and wants residents to know they can go green for this year's "holiday of love."
"The idea of the holiday is to share your sentiments with those you care about - not create additional waste that ends up in our landfills," said Sandra Pursley, communications relations manager for Waste Management/Blue Barrel.
On WM's not-green-enough-for-Valentine's Day list are cut flowers, balloons, cards and boxes of sweets.
"There are a number of gestures you can make to celebrate the holiday without generating additional items that have excess packaging or ultimately get thrown out," Pursley said.
No boxes of chocolate or dozens of red roses? Sounds like Pursley wants to unseat Cupid in favor of the Grinch.
Not so, she says. On Thursday, try these alternatives:
* Instead of cut flowers, give potted plants, flowers or a tree. This gift can be just as beautiful as flowers but can bring years of pleasure, either planted in a garden or properly maintained as a house plant.
* Instead of a bouquet of balloons, buy your beloved a ride in a hot-air balloon. Or consider purchasing romantic artwork or a framed photo of a special shared moment, which can be enjoyed for years to come.
* That cherished box of chocolates can be traded for homemade treats, a dessert at the couple's favorite restaurant or even a gift card.
* While women may love fragrances or lotions, a massage or a trip to the spa may be more relaxing, enticing and romantic.
Other gifts such as jewelry or stuffed animals can also be made "green." For instance, instead of buying new jewelry, it may be better to have existing jewelry repaired, cleaned or upgraded, such as changing stones or attaching new charms.
Instead of buying a stuffed animal, other warm and cozy items may be just as special and effective, such as a nice blanket or fancy robe.
"On any gift-giving occasion, we should plan to give gifts that aren't disposable - whether it's a durable, reusable gift, a gift certificate or any activity," such as lessons, a concert, a membership or a special occasion with the gift-giver, Pursley added. "Thinking creatively, you can not only give the perfect gift, but also make sure it's having a minimal impact on the environment."


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