In an effort to skirt consumerism, the Center for a New American Dream supports the rebranding of Valentine's Day as Generosity Day. According to New Dream, "the whole idea came from Sasha Dichter, Chief Innovation Officer with the Acumen Fund (read our recent interview with Sasha). ... Sasha wrote the following on his blog:
... Valentine’s Day is going to be rebooted as Generosity Day: one day of sharing love with everyone, of being generous to everyone, to see how it feels and to practice saying 'Yes.' Let’s make the day about love, action, and human connection — because we can do better than smarmy greeting cards, overpriced roses, and stress.
In a separate post on New Dream, another writer makes the case for looking at Valentine's Day and its fixings — homemade valentines, in particular — from another angle: the Green Triangle.
In 1990, Ernest Callenbach wrote an article describing his idea of the Green Triangle. It boils down to this: When you make a positive change in one area of your life, it also affects other areas positively.
The three points of the Green Triangle stand for MONEY, ENVIRONMENT, and HEALTH. The classic example Callenbach uses is someone commuting to work by bicycle. Perhaps they made this change iniitally to save money on gasoline and car wear and tear. However, riding to work daily also helps the environment by reducing pollution and carbon emissions. And, in most cases, it improves a person’s health.
Over at The Atlantic Cities, a global perspective on the sharing of love has emerged in a photo essay in honor of Valentine's Day.
Couples compete during the "Kiss on the Ice" contest to share the longest kiss in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk on February 13. Photo Credit: Ilya Naymushin/Reuters.
For the second year in a row, the New York Department of Environmental Protection is opening its Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant – a fantastic domed structure on the watery border between Brooklyn and Queens – to the public for Valentine’s Day tours. Last year, 220 people took advantage of the chance to glimpse the inner workings of the plant and travel to the 120-foot-high observation deck, which has spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline.
For those intent upon gift giving, why not give a gift that keeps on giving? CNN rounded up a handful of choices like TOMS Shoes, Krochet Kids, 31 Bits, and the Knock Foundation. Heifer International is another great option. Making a purchase from one of these groups provides jobs, education, food, and more to people in impoverished nations.
The 'Love Tee' from Krochet Kids.
Further still, the Sierra Club has posted an array of environmentally conscious Valentine's Day ideas from ethical sweets to green dating. Because nothing says 'I love you' better than organic, local, shade-grown chocolates!
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