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Sunday, December 15

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Make your Valentine’s Day sustainable

Looking to continue your New Year’s resolutions of reducing your carbon footprint? This month is the perfect place to continue or start!

February brings one of the largest consumer holidays of the year, Valentine’s Day. Americans spent $19.6 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2018, with the average American spending about $163 on the day. That’s a lot of money, and therefore influence, which could be used/spent for a positive impact on our planet, for our wildlife and their habitats. When making purchases this month on flowers, chocolate, greeting cards and so on, make simple changes to choose sustainable products and be a conscientious consumer.

How do we do that? To buy informed, we need to first figure out which products and/or companies are sustainable. That’s easy, thanks to organizations like the Rainforest Alliance and the Forestry Stewardship Council.

 

The Rainforest Alliance works in the realms of business, agriculture and forests to bring these allies together to create positive change. The Alliance works by setting a standard by which products are harvested so that animals, their habitats, farmers and forest communities are protected and treated fairly. The Rainforest Alliance also works to advocate for the advancement of policy for sustainability, as well as increased commitments and financial investments from both governments and companies. So when you’re buying flowers, chocolate or coffee, look for the frog logo! Look for the Rainforest Alliance symbol to use your consumer dollars for good!

When using your consumer dollars and purchase power to buy paper products like greeting cards, look for the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) logo. When you support FSC-certified companies, you are supporting companies that are following a set of 10 principles and 57 criteria to assure that the timber/trees for those products were cultivated in a sustainable way that preserves habitat, biological diversity, water resources, soils, landscaping and unique and fragile ecosystems. In other words, these companies source their products from farms that are maintaining the integrity of the forest and wildlife that live there. Forestry Stewardship Council is the gold standard for forest certification and is the only system supported by WWF, Sierra Club, Greenpeace and National Wildlife Federation.

Making these simple switches not only safeguards species and habitats, but also ensures healthy forests, oceans, rivers and environments. Use your consumer dollars for good this Valentine’s Day!
Carissa Bishop
Interpretation Specialist

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl