How to have a sustainable Valentine's Day

Lauren McCrostie

Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity to explore alternative and more sustainable ways to spend your time and money. Here's how to celebrate and enjoy Valentine's, without harming the planet.

Handmade is best

handmade valentine's gifts

The novelties of Valentine's Day: the wrapping paper, chocolates, teddy bears, cards and even bouquets are ridden in plastic and un-recyclable materials.

What makes matters worse is that these items are neither the most favourable nor most treasured, as it has been found that people prefer homemade gifts 17 per cent more than bought ones. Glitter-coated cards and bouquets offer a delightful but temporary presence in our lives—and an endless one in a landfill.

Instead, why not consider making a card or writing a letter (plastic-free of course). This is a lovely way to commemorate and show your love for someone. The more heartfelt, honest, soppy the better. Don’t let your creative skills halt here though—you could also plan a shared experience, make a personal gift voucher or cook a nice meal for them.  

Read more: How to make a Valentine's mixtape

 

Sustainable shopping

sustainable valentine's rings

However,  if you really do want to purchase something for your special someone, there are plenty of eco-friendly options on the market.
 
If sweets take your fancy then snap up some vegan, natural chocolate truffles from the delightful Booja Booja or Chocolate and Love who have completely compostable packaging and plant a tree with every bar. Pair it with a nice bottle of red or white from a refill point location near you, too. 
 
Alternatively, you can spray, sniff and splurge on a charming scent from Abel perfumery. The fragrance brand prides itself on its considered ethics, distinctive quality and natural science—with its collection being made completely from natural sources.
sustainable valentine's lingerie
 
We all surely know that "diamonds are a girl's best friend", but lab-grown diamonds are the earth's best friend. Kimai are a jewellery company wanting to make a difference. After discovering the dirty and dangerous side of the industry the creators wanting to produce something of beauty, which did not issue negative consequences. Their diamonds are "locally made, responsibly sourced and are of lab-grown luxury". Embellishments are made from 100 per cent recycled gold and handmade in Antwerp. By creating diamonds in the lab, Kimai prevents the earth from being tirelessly dug up and the disruption of communities.  
 
Wanting to tempt and treat someone with a delicate pair of lingerie? Check out the beautiful Lara Intimates who make their intimate pieces from dead-stock fabric. Nina Rose, follows the same practice with their wonderful silk sleep eye masks too.
 
Sustainability has you covered in the bedroom, too. Look up the biodegradable condom brand, sustain, who treat the health of the planet and its people as a priority.
 
 

Planning a date night?

sustainable dinner date

If you're planning on booking a meal out and dining in style this Valentine's, there are plenty of eco options. 

Visit a zero-waste restaurant/bar at either Slaw,  Cub or Silo. They all aim to produce dishes of Michelin standard with food that would otherwise be thrown away (with a heavy focus on the veg—but not entirely devoid of animal products either) 

 

Sustainable AND sexy

trees in a heart shape

Small changes such as these build up and amount to a real difference being made; just look at how simply putting a price on our supermarket plastic bags reduced consumption by 80 per cent.
 
If we all started [or continue] tweaking our daily habits here and there—switching to more ethical brands; opting for the veg over the meat dish; refusing unnecessary plastic; changing shopping habits; buying fewer clothes; bringing our own reusables; compostable vegan condoms…it can create change on a colossal scale.