For some, Valentine’s Day may mark the beginning of the end to those healthy New Year’s Resolutions. Perhaps it’s a fancy, decadent four course dinner; a special box of chocolates from a loved one; baking red and white cupcakes for your kids’ school; or just the temptation of the candy aisle.

One thing is for sure, Valentine’s Day is not known for being the healthiest or most sustainable of holidays!


But here’s a thought: isn’t the best way to express your love to a significant other, friend, or family member to show them you care about their health and well-being?

You don’t have to get caught up in the commercialized idea of Valentine’s Day – all the candy, the eating, the sugary treats. In fact, you can do the opposite. You can celebrate love by celebrating health, compassion, sustainability, and making choices that just feel great. Here are a few ideas for doing just that:

  1. Get out and do something active together. Go for a walk, play tennis, go snowshoeing, or even just hit the gym for 30 minutes. The point is to spend time together doing something you both enjoy…and that’s good for your heart!
  2. Do something good for others. Show some love to animals, the planet, or other people through an organized volunteer activity or a simple, impromptu litter pick-up. Help out at an animal sanctuary, make a donation to a charitable organization in a loved one’s name, or just ensure that your celebrations are cruelty-free. You’ll certainly spread some love, and feel great about doing it.
  3. Don’t make the meal the focus of the day. There’s nothing wrong with going out and enjoying a nice meal together, but there’s no need to get carried away just because it’s a holiday. If you want to split a dessert or have that second glass of wine, just make sure it fits into the context of a healthy and balanced day, week, month, and lifestyle of physical activity and healthy eating.
  4. You don’t have to buy candy this year. Just because it comes in a heart-shaped box doesn’t mean candy is the ultimate expression of true love. Most conventional Valentine’s Day assortments are filled with animal products, high fructose corn syrup, food coloring, and tons of other junky ingredients. Even if you happen to find a more wholesome assortment, you’re still giving your loved one a big heart-shaped box of sugar. If you want some high-quality dark chocolate, have it. But don’t buy into the convention that candy means love.
  5. Don’t wait for a holiday. Don’t wait for a holiday to show the people in your life how much you care. Every day, prioritize making your loved ones feel valued and appreciated. Gifts and flowers are not required. Simply preparing (or sharing) a healthy meal together, showing interest in life events, and being generous with praise for notable efforts and accomplishments goes a long way towards building a strong, healthy relationship and a robust emotional bank account.

Got some other great ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day in a healthy, planet-friendly way? We’d love to hear about them (in the comments section below).

Image Credit: libraryman/Flickr