Valentine's Day is just around the corner and we thought why not change it up this year and try out some eco-friendly ideas.
Whether you are celebrating a special occasion, showing someone how much you love them or even if you are treating yourself by showing some self-appreciation and being your own Valentine, here are just a few ways you can have a more sustainable Valentines Day this year.
Although flowers can be the go to gift that can’t really go wrong, try switching them out for something that is long lasting, like a houseplant, succulent, or better yet if you have the outdoor space for it, a tree!
Not only is it a thoughtful gift, it will also provide you with cleaner air - a gift that keeps on giving!
When wrapping, it’s fair to say that we use a lot of sticky tape and quite a lot of wrapping paper. Ultimately it all ends up in landfills as most wrapping paper can’t be recycled so it is literally - a waste.
However the feeling of keeping something a surprise or seeing someone’s face light up as they tear through it all to get to their gift is one that is hard to pass up. There’s no reason to give up this tradition, instead we can just look towards alternatives.
Try wrapping gifts in brown paper and natural string, it’s much more sustainable, the paper can be recycled and the string could be used again. If you really want to be creative, go a step further and make the wrapping a part of the gift itself. For example you could wrap up a present in a scarf.
It’s a two in one, wrapping as well as an accessory someone can wear later on.
Cards - there’s practically a card for every occasion, and we receive them all year round. Did you know, we send more than a billion cards to landfill each year? That’s almost 300,000 trees being cut down all just to end up in the bin.
If you're someone who likes to collect cards over the years, why not use them to create a collage or even create one big card.
Going out for a meal is unlikely to be on the cards this year, so use this chance to do something different. If you're an avid cook, prepare a gourmet meal from scratch for a romantic night in. If however your culinary skills aren’t up to scratch, order some of their favourite food and maybe try to support a local restaurant or take-away.
Usually most local places will source most of their ingredients locally as well, which means the food hasn’t got a large carbon footprint because it hasn’t travelled across the world to get to you. You could also enjoy a night cooking a meal together, another way to spend quality time and create memories.
To make the meal more memorable, if the weather permits you could set up a picnic in your garden and end the night stargazing at the night sky, or even an outdoor cinema with lots of cushions and sheets to make it extra comfy.
If the outdoors isn’t an option you’ve got plenty of choices indoors too. Plan the evening so it isn’t the same as any other, pick out some games, choose a movie to watch or even make a cool tent with your furniture and bits and pieces from around your home, grown ups can enjoy making dens too!
One final tip - get crafty! There are all sorts of unique DIY homemade gift ideas you can find online. Be creative and gift something different this year instead of the usual store bought products which you have plenty of time for giving throughout the rest of the year. If you aren’t so creative and don’t think you can make something yourself, there are lots of online small businesses and crafty websites you can find who do create beautiful homemade eco-friendly gifts.
A homemade or crafted gift is always a good way to show how much effort and thought you put in. It will be something they’ll always remember and it’ll hold sentimental value too!
Hopefully these tips can give you some ideas on how to make this Valentine’s Day or any occasion that extra bit special as well as sustainable. You won’t just be expressing your love and care for someone else, you’ll also be doing the same for your planet so it's definitely a win win!