Despite the fact that it’s a holiday we use as an extra reason to express our love to that special someone, Valentine’s Day itself is not so full of love for the planet. Glitter coated and plastic laminated cards sent all over the world, along with throwaway gifts - like balloons and teddybears - end up in landfills and ultimately hurt our environment.
As much as we enjoy Valentine’s Day and everything that comes with it, we have to acknowledge the weight we put on Mother Earth each passing year.
Our planet deserves love instead of waste, so why not use this lovely holiday as an opportunity to say ‘I love you’ in sustainable ways?
1. Write a poem on biodegradable seed paper
Nothing compares to sitting down at your desk and writing down your feelings towards someone you feel deeply for, especially when you add a few rhymes into the mix. But do you know what’s even more amazing? Writing your feelings on biodegradable seed paper.
Yes, such a thing really exists! Seed paper is quite literally paper with seeds embedded into it. When this paper is placed on top of soil and watered, it will germinate and begin sprouting seedlings.
2. Drink organic wine
Wine is such a classic mood setter and, fortunately, you can’t really go wrong with it. Every special occasion asks for a glass of wine and Valentine’s Day is no exception.
So, why not indulge in this timeless symbol of passion with a sustainable twist on it? Organic wine is seeing a spike in popularity like never before. Wine lovers are looking for bottles that taste heavenly, pair well with a variety of foods, and above all, are planet-friendly.
But what is organic wine? Basically, it’s wine that’s made from organically farmed grapes, a process that excludes fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides.
3. Offer handmade gifts
Let’s face it - there’s something highly endearing about giving and receiving handmade gifts. Be it a heart-shaped pie or a photo collage with sweet quotes all around, Valentine’s Day becomes so much more fun when you make the heart grow fonder with gifts that help the environment.
From eco-friendly sweets to showering your dear one in planet-loving plantable confetti, it's absolutely possible to offer a green DIY Valentine's Day gift without sacrificing romantic value.
4. Have a spa day at home
Having a spa day at home might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking of romantic Valentine’s Day gifts, but it sure is one that soothes the heart and the body.
However, this doesn’t mean you need to turn your bathroom into an intricate wellness retreat. A spa day at home can be as easy as putting on a sheet mask or investing in a muscle-soothing soak to ease tightness and release stress, all while keeping it simple and organic.
5. Get romantic with soy candles
Once a candle has been lit, all you want to do is get lost in the relaxing and enticing atmosphere it creates. However, you might want to think twice before lighting up that wax candle you love so much.
Sadly, wax candles are made from petroleum that, when lit, unleashes the equivalent of diesel exhaust. The best thing you can do for setting the mood without polluting the air is choosing natural soy or beeswax candles.
6. Give a potted plant
Cut flowers are a beautiful gift, but sadly, they can only last for so long, with only one to two weeks before they are thrown out. On top of that, the accessibility of this gift is putting shade to the long journey the flowers have to take from the greenhouse to your loved one’s house. Believe it or not, this type of love is hurting our environment.
So, why not replace the giant bouquet with a potted plant? A living plant can last a lifetime if it’s taken good care of and serve as a constant reminder of the person who bought it each time the plant is watered and looked at.
7. Cook a meal at home
Many people are guilty of using Valentine’s Day as an excuse to dine out at a nice restaurant. However, they tend to forget that cooking with their partner can be an incredibly bonding experience filled with romance.
That being said, skipping the restaurant is not only better for your wallet, but it’s also a better choice for protecting the environment because it ultimately means less food waste and no to-go boxes.
Such a sweet holiday that’s dedicated to love shouldn’t be about how big, crazy or expensive your gift is. You can still do a lot of romantic things and tell that special someone you love them in ways that don’t destroy your budget and the environment in the process.