Have a fun, green Valentine’s Day
But there’s a lot of rubbish being pushed and advertised, and it has become very commercial.
Sometimes there’s pressure from our friends and colleagues too, to buy things.
Luckily, we as individuals don’t have to make it commercial if we don’t want to.
Here’s how to make your Valentine’s Day special as well as green this year. (I’ve kept the best till last!).
If you want to buy an actual, physical gift, avoid plush toys and plastic nonsense which will end up as landfill. Instead, try to find re-usable, practical items which are also romantic. Choose gifts with sustainability in mind.
A picnic basket is always welcome – on condition that you also promise to have picnics with your loved one! This one is small – there’s just enough space for a light meal for two – but elegant. Click the picture for more details. It’s made from hand-woven willow, with ceramic (not plastic) plates.
More extravagant – but with much more inside – is this oh-so-English picnic basket. (Click on the picture for more details). It contains porcelain plates, wine glasses, stainless steel cutlery, vacuum flask and mugs, napkins, a wooden cutting board, a cheese knife, corkscrew and bottle stopper, insulated food cooler bag and wine cooler bag, lidded food containers and a fleece blanket, all in a beautiful wicker basket.
And to make sure you use it, get some great ideas from this book which will also help to make sure that you eat food in season: Picnic: 125 Recipes with 29 Seasonal Menus
Also practical as well as caring is a throw – your loved one can snuggle up and think of you while being cosy and warm. It’s eco friendly because by wrapping up warmly, less heating is required at home.
Flowers are of course a massively popular gift. Commercially produced flowers use a lot of pesticides, and many roses are transported long distances to get them into stores just for this time of year. Roses are always lovely – be sure to buy from florists who are eco friendly – in the USA, Organic Bouquet deliver country wide – click on the banner on the right.
Also consider alternatives to roses – delicate snowdrops are so beautiful and likely to be locally sourced. Michaelmas Daisies are also in season now – it makes sense to buy other items locally and seasonally too for an eco friendly Valentine’s Day.
Also consider some alternatives to flowers. Organic Bouquet also offer plants and small trees – these will last and are a more sustainable option as a gift.
Or give seed bombs! They’ll last much longer, and do more for the planet – and your neighbourhood – than cut red roses. A seed bomb is a golf-ball or gum-ball sized mixture of soil and seeds. Throw on some wasteland or a quiet area of your garden, and watch them sprout! In the UK go to KaBloom (I love that name!). In the US you can buy seed bombs local to your region from VisuaLingual.
Chocolate can be a good gift, unless of course the recipient is on a diet! I always feel it’s a little unimaginative, but that’s just me. Cocoa is sometimes grown with fertilizers and pesticides to ensure more-frequent-than-normal harvests, and then travels quite a distance to be manufactured into the products we love. Seek out organic and Fair Trade chocolate products for an eco friendly Valentine’s Day.
“Experience gifts” are great fun and can be really eco friendly because you’re not buying “stuff” – click on the ‘Gift’ logo for some great ideas for experience gifts in the UK. Alternatively, choose from a huge range of experiences in the USA by clicking on the box below
Everyone wants a nice, romantic night on the 14th. Perhaps it’s because I’m getting a little older, but I’ve found overpriced set menus and rushed service to be the norm. I prefer a nice meal at home. But both options can be eco friendly.
If you are dining out, choose your restaurant carefully – in urban areas many places now offer organic and sustainable food. For a list of sustainable restaurants in your area, go to dinegreen in the USA, and in the UK check out sustainable restaurants here.
If you’re eating at home, choose local organic food. How about line-caught sea bass on noodles with sustainable sourced smoked oysters on top? Or venison is often a good choice – different varieties of deer have different hunting seasons so it’s often available and in season. It’s also a low-fat option, like the sea bass. Follow it up with organic chocolate terrine with raspberry coulis. (I’m getting hungry just writing this!).
Do things that don’t cost money and don’t involve “stuff”.
- Spend that most precious of all gifts – time – with your loved one.
- Think up an unexpected kindness. Even doing the dishes when it’s not your turn will be appreciated.
- Snuggle up together.
Here’s my favourite suggestion. It’s the best and most eco friendly Valentine’s Day gift of all.
Just say “I love you” – and mean it.
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