With Valentine’s Day around the corner, the last minute frenzy has begun. People are scurrying the streets looking for perfect gifts for their loved ones. Grocery stores all over the city are stocked with pink flower bouquets and heart shaped confections, boutiques are advertising lace intimates and restaurants are preparing for one of the busiest nights of the year. GOOD HEAVENS! I’m so sick of it!

Since when did love become something to capitalize on? And why do we feel the need to run around throwing away money on meaningless things such as unethically sourced chocolates or teddy bears made by underpaid sweatshop workers in China.

Here’s a (not so) crazy idea. Let’s use Valentine’s Day as a day to do good deeds in honor of our loved ones (or in honor of ourselves).

All in all, remember that Valentine’s Day is a day for giving love. Be sure to express your love through acts of kindness.

And if you want to stay traditional this Valentine’s Day, no problem. Just make sure you shop local and stay sustainable. Here are some of our recommendations:

ANIMALIA: They sell incredibly beautiful handmade jewelry, pottery, locally made cards, sustainable household items and they have a bulk refill dispensary!

Caputo’s: This is your one stop shop for chocolate. Caputo’s offers a wide variety of ethically sourced craft chocolates.

Native Flower Company: Support your local florist. Native Flower Company has a beautiful selection of flower bouquets.