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).
- For the adventurer: Support the National Park Service and buy an annual parks pass. Not only does this give you a reason to visit parks and make memories, but the fee keeps the parks running. Don’t have time to hit the road? Donate to the NPS in honor of your adventurous loved one, or any of these local environmental groups:
- For the animal lover: Want to help animals in need and bring a smile to your loved ones face? Adopt or foster a furry friend from Best Friends Animal Society. Best Friends is hosting a Valentine’s Slumber Party on Thursday, February 13th. You can take home a dog, cat or kitten for a one night foster slumber party before their Valentine’s adoption promotion on Friday, February 14th. Not ready to take that step in your relationship? No sweat. Best Friends accepts loving donations.
- For the foodie: 12% of Utahns don’t know where their next meal will come from. Instead of a dinner date, why not go on a grocery store date? Take your loved one out to the grocery store and fight hunger by purchasing and donating non-perishable food items to the Utah Food Bank.
- For the artist: Support the arts and art educational programs by donating, volunteering or becoming a member at any of the local art museums such as:
- For your Galentine: What better way to spend time with your galentine than spending it standing up for women? According to VIPP, one in three Utah women will experience some type of sexual assault in their lifetime and one in eight will be raped. Together we can reduce these statistics to nothing. Grab your gals, get passionate and volunteer together at any of these incredible women’s organizations:
- For anyone: There are those of us less fortunate who deserve all the love we can offer. According to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, there were almost 3,000 people experiencing homelessness in Utah in 2018. Organizations like the ones listed below need our help. So grab your loved one, pick a nonprofit and work together.
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.