Valentine’s Day on the cheap and ‘green’ |

Valentine’s Day on the cheap and ‘green’

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These days, most people are looking for ways to save the planet – and their pocketbooks. While the two may sometimes be tricky to pull off at the same time, here are some ideas on how to have a cheap, or at least “green” Valentine’s Day.

The High Country Conservation Center has pointed out that worldwide, romantics buy about a billion Valentine cards, according to American Greetings Corp., which means a lot of trees have fallen for the cause. Two ways to be more environmentally conscious are: Send an e-card, or, if you want to remain traditional, look for cards made with post-consumer recycled content, noted on the back.

As fair trade and organic becomes more popular, it’s easier to find chocolate produced without pesticides and chemical fertilizers. That’s good for your body and the Earth’s soil. A simple search for organic, fair trade chocolate will set you in the right direction. Or, check out to look for products. (Same goes for flowers; though you don’t eat them, you’ll be doing the Earth a service by going organic. Local flower shops can help you out too.)

And, these days, even sexy has gone the way of “green.” Yes, lingerie now comes in organic cotton, hemp, bamboo (which is softer than you’d think) and recycled fibers. According to, where you can find such lingerie, the textile industry is one of the world’s most polluting, as it creates toxic runoff.

“Green” jewelry – and we’re not talking emeralds here – is also becoming more and more popular. Recycled gold, silver and other metals are a great bet. If you want to find out if the diamonds you’re considering buying are conflict free, check out or

You can even create a completely “green” dinner, with locally produced, organic food, organic wine and eco-candles, the latter of which can be found at Check out the book reviews below for great recipe ideas.

If you’re looking to save a little green in your wallet, there are plenty of heartfelt ways to do it.

A personalized, digitized photo collage set to music can be a labor of love (or, if that’s too high-tech, you can go the old-fashioned way by creating the collage of you and your loved one’s special moments with printed photos).

A close cousin is the personalized CD: Go through your CDs, grab some romantic tunes off iTunes, and viola – you are the most sensitive, thoughtful person in the world.

Watching old or new romantic movies could be just the ticket this Valentine’s weekend, and reading poetry – or hilarious books – aloud can lead to a cozy night at home.

If you’re looking for physical activity (uh, beyond the bedroom), don’t count on a late-night snowshoe hike, or anything like that, seeing that it’s a new moon this weekend, not a full moon … Instead, plan your outdoor activities during daylight hours.

The Breckenridge Recreation Center helps you create a splash on Sunday with two-for-one pool entry fees. Or take a two-for-one private Nordic lesson at the Breckenridge Gold Run Nordic Center.

Copper Mountain will set your night on fire with En Fuego, a free street party from 4-7 p.m. Saturday. The evening includes a skating show by members of the Breckenridge Figure Skating Club at 5:30 p.m., bonfires, fire jugglers, a BMX stunt show and fireworks over West Lake.

And, don’t forget about Loveland Ski Area if you want to tie the knot or renew your vows at 12,050 feet Sunday. Harry Heilman, registered minister with The Universal Life Church, will conduct the ceremony at the top of Chair 2. Pre-registered couples receive two-for-one lift tickets for the event and free admission to the after-party, at 1:30 p.m. at the base of Loveland Basin. The party includes wedding cake, a toast and dancing, as well as prizes for the best dressed.

“Now in its 19th year, Loveland’s Mountaintop Matrimony is more popular than ever,” said Duncan Maxwell, events and promotions coordinator. “Valentine’s Day again falls on a weekend, so we are expecting an extra large turnout and some new snow this holiday weekend.”

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