Can you feel the love in the air💘?
Valentine’s Day isn’t for everyone, we totally get it! But even if you don’t love the 14th of February and all it stands for, there’s no denying that knowing how to show your friends or family that you love them (without leaving a big dent on the planet) is a good skill to have!
From individually wrapped chocolates, plastic wrapped bouquets, glitter and more, the waste from Valentine’s Day and other ‘I really appreciate you' moments in our lives, start to add up. So, whoever that special someone is in your life (yes, it can and should also be you) here are our top five tips for a low-impact Valentine’s Day! ❤️
Skip the plastic-wrapped bouquet or fresh flowers in general
The environmental impact of having fresh flowers is higher than you might think. For example, in the United States, most flowers are transported by plane and truck from other countries within three to five days to keep them fresh. In 2018, Valentines Day flowers grown in Columbia and flown to U.S. airports produced around 360,000 metric tons of CO2, according to the Council on Clean Transportation. That’s roughly equivalent to 78,000 cars driven for one year.
Maybe this year you can give something with a lower impact like a potted plant or seeds that can be cared for and loved for years to come. Love giving freshly cut flowers? Pick local wildflowers or ones grown from your garden instead. If you don't have either of those options, support a local farmer or florist (they’ll appreciate your support so much!) and try to minimize the amount of plastic packaging.
Traditional store-bought cards are often decorated with materials that aren’t recyclable like foil, plastic films or glitter (aka microplastics). For an eco-friendlier option, get crafty and make your Valentine’s Day card with paper and materials you have around the house or your garden. It also makes for a more sentimental gift that can be personalized with poems or, your favourite, cheesy puns!
If you aren’t super crafty or you’re in a long-distance relationship, you could always send a virtual card! 💌
Shop local for gifts or thrift gifts
You know the drill - if you are exchanging gifts with your sweetheart(s), an easy way to lower your impact is by shopping local or thrifting a gift instead to give them a second lease on life. The best part? Most items are more affordable because they have been pre-loved and a majority of thrift shops support charities or local community groups. More insider tips for second hand shopping here.
Share an experience, instead of things
Plan an experience to spend time with your loved one - Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love, after all. Whether it’s a date to a comedy show, checking out a fun new restaurant, making them breakfast in bed, planning a candlelight dinner or transforming your living room into a cozy movie theater for the night – thoughtful experiences make for such special gifts!
Make homemade chocolate covered strawberries
Individually wrapped chocolates and sweets can create a lot of single-use plastic waste. A great alternative to all the heart-shaped chocolate boxes is making your own homemade treats. A super easy treat to make at home is chocolate covered strawberries, pretzels, marshmallows - really anything else you think would be delicious covered in chocolate! You can even make these chocolate treats together as a fun, creative activity to do together 😋 More chocolate recipes here.
Okay love birds, we hope you learned a thing or two from us! But please keep in mind that when it comes to a low-impact lifestyle, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ and you really do have to find the solution that works best for you.
From the Ethique team, we wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day today and everyday ❤️