Valentine's Day is one of the most romantic days of the year. There's plenty of love in the air on February 14th for that special someone, whether it’s your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife. But you know who doesn't get much love on this special day? Our planet.
In fact, Valentine's Day has a very negative impact on the environment. No matter how romantic your gifts and cards may be, a huge amount of them are thrown away within a matter of days. So, to help you show some to Planet Earth, we’ve created this guide on how to have a more eco-friendly Valentine’s Day.
Don't buy cards – Make them instead!
Almost 20 million paper cards are sold for Valentine's Day every year. That's an awful lot of trees being cut down just to write something you could say out loud. And that’s not to mention the huge amounts of water and energy consumed by paper mills on top of all the chemicals they produce. Did you know that even recycled cards emit methane when they decompose! This year why not skip the annual shopping trip to Card Factory and create your own Valentine's Day card out of reclaimed paper?
Making a Valentine's card allows you to bring out your creative side and give your partner a true expression of love. You can go as creative as you want, adding all the flare and glare in the world to make the perfect card for your valentine. It may not be as pretty or professionally done as a card bought off the shelf, but it will certainly mean a lot more to them and holds 100 times more sentiment. If you’re struggling for Valentine's card ideas, there’s plenty online for inspiration.
Alternatively, why not use technology to your advantage to show your loved one how much they mean to you by sending an e-card. There are loads of free sites you can send e-cards from, it's a simple and effective way to show your love without doing damage to our planet.
Give your partner a long-lasting plant
Flowers are the classic Valentine's Day gift. They’re colourful, vibrant, natural and come smelling like the outdoors. Plus, nothing tells your partner they're your Valentine like a beautiful bouquet of flowers. But the problem is they don't last very long. You've got maybe a week or so before they start to wilt. Why not treat your partner with something that will stand the test of time and say “I love you” for longer? There are plenty of long-lasting flowers on the market, from mini roses to orchids. You could also look into getting a mini cactus. They may not be as good looking as roses, but their cute aesthetic is appealing to many, especially for office decoration or people who aren’t botanically gifted.
If you do decide to go down the traditional flower route, make sure you pick up an organic bouquet or take a trip to your local farmers market to see what's in season. The use of pesticides is very prominent in the flower market, and it only has a negative impact on our increasingly fragile environment, by contributing to water and air pollution (pesticides were found to have polluted every stream in America). Most flowers you can buy in everyday shops use pesticides at some point during growth to ensure they get the best end result. So, remember to say no to this harmful tactic and go organic.
Go for a romantic walk
Heading out for a romantic walk is a great way to celebrate your love. This way you have the added benefit of enjoying a more intimate setting in the outdoors. Outdoors there are less distractions. No TV to snatch your attention, and you can keep your phone in your pocket. It's a time to focus solely on each other, taking the world at a slower pace and catching up on conversation. You could also pick your partner up a handy pair of walking boots as an offbeat but soon-to-be-cherished Valentine's present.
Going out for a romantic walk is also a great way to rekindle your love and appreciation for the environment, taking in all the beauty that Mother Nature has to offer. It may be a nippy out there though, being the middle of February in the UK, so make sure you wrap up warm with a fleece or insulated jacket.
Skip the restaurant – cook it yourself
Many of us use Valentine's Day as an opportunity for a fine dining experience. Every year we see restaurants full to the brim, if you haven't pre-booked weeks in advance, you're not getting a table. But do you really need one? Absolutely not.
Cooking a meal from scratch in the comfort of your own kitchen will go a lot further to creating the perfect evening. It'll get a lot more appreciation for one, sure anyone can splash out a load of cash on a fancy meal, but how many people can cook that Smoked Paprika Steak with Spinach & Creamy Mushroom Sauce you've been keen to knock up for a while now? Sure, you may not be at a fancy restaurant, but at least you've taken it into your own hands to impress your boyfriend or girlfriend. There are so many romantic meal ideas to choose from, you'll be stuck for choice. Just make sure YOU do the washing up.
Did you know that on average the typical prepared meal contains ingredients sourced from five different countries? That's a huge carbon footprint. That's why we recommend you shop local for local ingredients. Cutting out the fancy restaurant and dining in your own home has plenty of benefits for both you and the environment. It's cheaper, it's more intimate as you're not sharing the room with a hundred other people, and the dog can be there as well! It'll also result in a lot less food wastage and no to-go boxes.
Alternatively, you could take the meal out with you on your walk and have a cute picnic dinner under the stars.
Glamping is becoming an increasingly popular getaway choice for couples. It’s perfect for those who want an outdoor camping experience with the added luxuries. Glamping tents are perfect for couples as they are much bigger than your average tent and usually have a few rooms to store all your gear and increase privacy. Most glamping sites also have toilets and showers, a luxury we all take for granted.
That's our guide on how to have an Eco-Friendly Valentine's Day, it's only fair that everyone gets some love on this romantic day of the year, including the planet! We have plenty of deals Online and In-Store that you'll also love, so why not take a look? Remember to try and stay eco this year whilst showering your partner with all the love you can imagine. Have a Happy Valentine's Day!