We all know the traditional Valentines day gifts so well we could practically name them in our sleep, right?  Chocolate, flowers, jewelry – you can’t turn on the TV in the month of February without seeing an advertisement for one of those things.

However, if you’ve ever been in a long-term relationship, you probably know that chocolate, flowers, and jewelry aren’t necessarily great gifts.  Their very traditional nature makes them a bit, well, cliché.  Your Valentine would probably prefer a gift that’s a bit more personal, something that shows you’ve thought about this gift for more than a few minutes.  Something to show you’ve remembered her hobbies or that you’ve noticed how much he really needs that one item.

Our planet can be like a Valentine, too.  Sure, you wouldn’t take the earth out on a date, but like it or not, you’re with it until death do you part, so as you’re planning your Valentine’s Day shopping excursions, think about what you’d like to gift to our world, too.

Chocolate is a pretty natural gift for your Valentine, when you think about it.  It’s tasty, it’s luxurious, and you can buy it in any number of seasonally-appropriate molded shapes.  Unfortunately, your planet isn’t so fond of chocolate, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still plug into that tasty, luxurious concept.  You could “feed” the earth healthy nutrients by composting in your back yard.  Not only is compost good for your garden, but it reduces ground pollution (which in turn becomes water pollution) by keeping unnatural nitrogen out of the soil.

Your Valentine likes flowers?  The earth may not – or at least, you might want to be choosy about which flowers you put into it.  Lawns and gardens account for 30% of the water usage in Southern California – a problem that can be remedied by switching to a drought-tolerant lawn and by implementing greywater system or installing rain barrels.  

Thinking of shelling out for that diamond ring for the big day?  Diamonds are used to symbolize love because they are nearly indestructible – like the saying says, “diamonds are forever.”  Our planet, however, is far more fragile, so one way to show your life-long devotion and your willingness to make a long-term commitment to your planet could be to make a big step and really save water.

And of course, think personal, too.  Nobody is perfect in their conservation duties.  This isn’t a condemnation, but rather an observation that each of us is guilty of one wasteful behavior – be it long showers, a water intensive diet, or just plain forgetfulnessPerhaps Valentines Day can be a time for self-reflection to look at all the ways, big and small, you could cut back on your wasteful behavior.

Would you do any less, for your Valentine?