We all like to gripe about the overdone Valentine's Day staples - flowers, chocolates and cards - but for many couples, these are still 'compulsory' gifts on February 14. Make yours more special this year by giving them a green makeover. Consider some of the following alternatives, which are all more eco-friendly (and sometimes easier on the wallet): Flowers for life Rather than buying overpriced roses, which die after a few days, give her a long-lasting orchid instead. Orchids are grown all over Hong Kong and buying one not only supports your local greenhouse, but will also be far cheaper. What's more, orchids last a lifetime if properly taken care of. Roses, on the other hand, are often imported from places such as Kenya and Ethiopia, requiring a polluting plane ride. There are also controversies surrounding work conditions for rose-pickers on rose farms. Paper-less cards An e-card might sound impersonal, but not if you fill it in with a thoughtful note. If you're at a loss, pen a list of '25 Things' you like or love about your recipient, and choose the best ones - or perhaps even all of them - to include in your personalised note. Or use an expert's words: copy a favourite love poem or love song (but be sure to attribute the real author!). One of our favourite sites for e-cards comes from the Nature Conservancy. Find sweet photos of animals in love at http://support.nature.org and click on 'gift ideas'. Good taste Keep the chocolates, but opt for organic, fair-trade ones instead. They are pricier but, hey, it's just one day a year. Brands available in supermarkets include Green and Black's and Prestat Fine Chocolates. Or if you're feeling adventurous, pick up a jar of Plamil's creamy organic chocolate spread, which is delicious with vanilla ice cream or on a slice of bread. You can purchase a jar from Little Giant in Causeway Bay for HK$48.