A sexy and sustainable Valentine’s Day in Ames

Taylor Hilsabeck

Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to consumers, over-consumption, and senseless spending on over-priced, heart-shaped boxes of carbon-footprint-heavy chocolate. Try telling that to your girlfriend, and you could also end up sleeping on the couch.

Spoil the special someone in your life, and be eco-conscious at the same time. Choose environmentally friendly options for a ‘green” Valentine’s Day here in Ames.


Start the day by skipping the power shower, and enjoy a soak for two. On average, 15-25 gallons of water are used in a five minute shower.


Buying organic and locally grown flowers helps support farmers who are leading the way to sustainability. Why give your loved one flowers containing pesticides? Ames Greenhouse Floral and Antiques sells 100 percent organic options. Located at 3011 South Duff Ave., surprise your special someone with a bouquet of flowers that show you care about her and the environment.

There is chocolate, and then there is fair-trade chocolate. On a holiday that is almost centered on chocolate equating to love, there is no excuse not to buy fair trade chocolate products. You will not only be expressing your love through the world’s finest candy ingredient, you will help developing nations establish economic viability and grow individuals out of poverty. Cocoa also comes in second after cotton for highest use of pesticides.

Wheatsfield Co-op, located at 413 Northwestern Ave., carries a large amount of organic chocolate selections. Visit their annual wine, cheese and chocolate sale on Saturday, Feb. 11, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and save up to 10 percent on chocolates.

Wine and Dine

Did you know there is an organic winery right in the heart of Ames? Prairie Moon Winery and Vineyards practices organic viticulture. This means no insecticides, pesticides or herbicides are used on the grapes, keeping waterways clean and protecting the environment. Pick up their most popular bottle, the Honey Moon Red, a semi-sweet red wine, at Hy-Vee, Wheatsfield, Fareway or Cyclone Liquors.

Eating locally cuts down on greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide wasted while driving. There are fine dining establishments that include ethical and sustainable options right here in Ames, such as The Cafe. Located at 2616 Northridge Parkway, The Cafe buys directly from local farmers and purveyors. With a decadent dinner menu and traditional and inventive desserts, it is the perfect place to impress your special someone.

Remember to give cards from recycled paper or e-cards and burn earth-friendly, soy candles, too. Keep these green dating tips in mind while planning your Feb. 14, and you’ll make the planet smile just as much as your significant other.