As you begin scheming about how to woo your Valentine this season, you may as well have some fabulous chocolate on hand to eat. Oh, and that makes a good present too. If you partake of this sweet little holiday, remember that you don’t have to go crazy on plastic, candy-filled hearts, stuffed animals, and generic, mass-produced cards. This holiday is all about creative ways to show affection.

I love making my own cards, whether from old newspapers, scrap paper, or store-bought, post-consumer recycled threads. I even like folding out my own envelopes from pretty magazine graphics, last year’s wall calendar, or junk mail. When you personalize something like that, it can be really fun and get you lots of thoughtfulness points while taking you back to second grade when you had a shoebox full of hand-cut cards (way cooler than the Snoopy ones!) at the end of Valentine’s Day. Find some scissors and glue, and get cracking.

As for the sweets, Boulder’s own Chocolove (chocolove.com) will do the double task of high quality, locally produced chocolate and romance, if you pick one of the many bars with love poems printed on the inside. The poetry is all classic verses and guaranteed to rival even the most inspired of your last-minute attempts at self-composed rhyme. In fact, I still have a Christina Rosetti poem stuck to my fridge from a Cherries & Almonds in Dark Chocolate Chocolove bar I devoured a few years ago. You can also try one of the fully organic lines of chocolate, such as Taza (tazachocolate.com), which employs sustainable practices, sources its cocoa beans from the nearest locations it can find, and even offers carbon-neutral shipping. Dagoba also sells good organic chocolate, plus hot chocolate mixes for cold days. Even as I write this, the temps outside are diving dangerously.

If you want a good spicy wine to pair with your chocolate treats, try Infinite Monkey Theorem’s (infinitemonkeytheorem.com) Petit Syrah, blended here in Colorado, or an organic 2008 Barn Red blend from Jack Rabbit Hill (jackrabbithill.com). You’ll surely convince someone to go out with you, and better yet, cuddle up next to you! Happy romancing!

Katherine Doan is the communications coordinator for the CU Environmental Center.