Flowers may seem like the perfect Valentine's Day gift. They're classic, romantic and can be budget friendly. But unfortunately, they aren't the most eco-friendly option on the market. Despite the fact the flowers are a product of nature, sending flowers to your loved one this holiday could put a damper on your carbon footprint.

An estimated 224 million roses are grown each Valentine's Day. But the majority of those exquisite flowers aren't grown in the United States. Most of the flowers purchased on Valentine's Day come from warmer climates, such as South America or Africa. That means your Valentine's Day gift may have done some serious globe-trotting before making its way in a temperature-controlled truck to your local florist.

If you're looking for ways to go green, consider one of these romantic eco-friendly gifts instead.

·         Go homemade. Although it may seem like the cheap way out, making your own Valentine's Day gift can be thoughtful and romantic. Bake a special treat, take the time to write a meaningful note or make your own scented candles. Sometimes the simple act of spending time on your loved one can really show how much you care.

·         Buy local. Chances are there are plenty of great locally made gifts for you to choose from. Most cities offer a selection of jewelry, chocolates, fruits and vegetables that are locally produced. If you live near a winery, purchase some local wine or even spend your holiday wine tasting at the nearest vineyard.

·         Try fair trade. If you try to be an eco-friendly person, you probably already know the value of fair trade products. They are produced at a much smaller scale through sustainable farming operations. Plus they're pesticide-free. If you plan to buy chocolates for that special someone, look for the fair trade label.

·         Dine in. Instead of going out for a fancy meal, plan something more intimate at home. Cooking a meal together can be a fun, romantic experience and you'll limit the environmental impact of your dinner. Not only will you get to skip the Valentine's Day crowds, you can probably save a little money too.

·         Potted plants. If you absolutely have to buy flowers, opt for a potted plant from your local nursery. They will last a lot longer than fresh-cut flowers and can be enjoyed for years to come. If you truly want to go above and beyond, grow your own flowers and cut a nice bouquet for that special someone.

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