Valentine’s Day is a day that can create a lot of frivolous waste, even if we love to go all-out. I’d like to argue that there are plenty of ways to have an eco-friendly Valentines Day without even changing your habits too much! Here are 14 simple tips for making your Valentines a bit more sustainable:
1. Exchange recycled or handmade cards
Make your own card with supplies from around your house for an upcycled surprise, or try one of these eco-friendly Valentines day cards on which to write your I-Love-You’s.
2. Use zero-waste wrapping paper
Let’s be honest – presentation matters. But it doesn’t have to make a mess. Get creative with recycled papers, cards, fabrics, and even dried fruits! There’s plenty of zero-waste options and even some fair trade wrapping papers on the market.
3. Buy locally grown flowers or potted plants
Roses aren’t always the most eco-friendly flowers – they can be super fragile and likely aren’t grown near you making them expensive environmentally to transport. Visit your local farmer’s market to see what’s grown around you seasonally, or visit your neighborhood florist and peruse the potted plants for a gift that will last (if your Valentine has a green thumb).
4. Try fair-trade vegan chocolates
The chocolate industry can be a scary place fraught with abusive business practices and extreme exploitation. Avoid that with a fair trade vegan chocolate that promises to protect animals and people involved.
5. Bake vegan treats for your sweet-toothed sugar (or support your local bakery)
Leave the animals out of it and wake your loved one up with a a coffee and delicious vegan pastry, sure to steal their tastebuds and their heart. Bonus points if you bake them yourself, but also bonus points if you support your local bakery with a purchase, so you really can’t lose!
6. Shop sustainable jewelry
In the market to buy your babe some bling this Valentines Day? Try some of these unique fair trade jewelry pieces that will turn heads and support small artisans at the same time.
7. Cook a plant based meal or visit a Farm-to-Table restaurant
If you’re cooking dinner for your cutie you’ll want to keep your carbon footprint light with a seasonal, plant based meal that leaves the animal products off the plate. Spending time in the kitchen not on your Valentines itinerary? Look up farm-to-table restaurant in your area for some fresh dishes made by farmers near you.
TRY THESE SEASONAL PLANT-BASED DISHES:
8. Sip on an organic wine
Not sure where to find organic wine that goes well with your tastes? This nifty tool will help you locate the adult grape juice that suits you and your Valentine. Organic wine leaves the pesticides out of your glass. Bonus points for finding a way to use the wine bottle and cork again!
9. Set the mood with eco-friendly candles
Whether you’re using candles to set the mood or charm your Valentine with a gift, candles are always a good idea. Check out Etsy for some creative eco-friendly candle varieties that are vegan and near your area (so shipping is kept to a minimum).
10. …and eco-friendly lingerie
Not advised for the Valentine you don’t know well yet.
Lingerie is not all made the same. There’s some great brands like Naja who make eco-friendly products and also treat their employees well (unlike many mega-brands like Victoria’s Secret). Try one of these eco-friendly and ethical lingerie brands for a piece that’s got a story behind it.
11. Introduce sustainable sex toys to the bedroom
Yes, you can even bring sustainability to your sex life! Whether you’re wanting something vegan, recyclable, or even solar-powered (!) there are some eco-friendly sex toys available. The planet and your partner will thank you.
12. Love your planet – make a date out of cleaning up the earth
If you have an eco-conscious cutie as a Valentine and saving the planet is a mutual priority, make your Valentine’s date around an Earth Day theme. Clean up a park near you, plant a tree, or have an entire night of eco-friendly activities like Vintage Kitty:
13. Skip the balloons
Short-lived and headed straight for the trash, balloons are a Valentine’s trend that needs to be abolished. Just skip them.
14. Or skip the material gifts altogether
The phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle” indicates the priority of each action – reducing our purchases of new items is the best way to reduce our impact on the planet. If you and your babe are on board with skipping the material gifts but still want to exchange something, what about these ideas?
- Give a Kiva gift card and let your lover finance a small loan for a cause they support
- Pick a cause on Donor’s Choose and help support a classroom project in a school near you
- Purchase Groupon for events in your area that you two can do together. Set yourself up for future date nights!
Thanks for reading my 14 simple tips on how to have an eco-friendly Valentines Day!
For other posts on eco-travel, try these: