February 8, 2023
5 tips for showing the planet some love this Valentine’s Day
Love is in the air! This month, people will be celebrating those they love on Valentine’s Day, but it is also important to show our planet some love too, by limiting our environmental impact. In this blog, we will be sharing our top 5 tips on how to enjoy Valentine’s Day in an environmentally conscious way.
1. Buy those chocolates but make them Fair Trade
One of the most gifted items for Valentine’s Day is chocolate, and who doesn’t love a sweet treat? Why not source Fair Trade chocolates instead, which ensures farmers are paid a decent living wage and no child labour is used in the production. Buying Fair Trade means you will be donating towards improving the lives of cocoa farmers, reducing gender inequality, and helping to abolish forced and child labour within the industry. You can find Fair Trade chocolates in all supermarkets, just keep an eye out for the Fair-Trade symbol on the packaging. Some notable Fair Trade chocolate brands include Tony’s Chocolonley, Alter Eco and Divine Chocolate. Find out more about the importance of Fair Trade. Once the chocolate has gone, don't forget to recycle the packaging!
2. Handmake cards and decorations – it’s the thought that counts
Instead of buying a card that will be read once and thrown away a few days later, why not create something thoughtful and sentimental that can be kept forever instead, such as making your own card or e-card. You could source supplies from your local craft store or see what you have lying around the house to make your own cards and decorations, you could even simply cut heart shapes out of old newspapers or magazines and hang them up as bunting that can be reused. If you are more tech-savvy and want to reduce any waste altogether, you could create your own digital e-card to email out to your loved ones. There are lots of free, easy to use design websites that can help you with this, such as Canva.
3. Ditch the flowers and gift potted plants
Giving flowers to those you love on Valentine’s Day is deemed to be a romantic gesture; however, they only live for a few days to a week (if you remember to water them!). Therefore, perhaps it is more romantic to gift those you love with something that will live on, such as a potted plant. Potted plants not only look great and come with less packaging waste but can also symbolise your growing love and reduce Co2 levels which improves air quality. Take a trip to your local garden centre where there will be a wide variety of potted plants to choose from or even try to grow your own.
4. Shop small, local, and ethical
When it comes to buying your loved ones a present for Valentine’s Day, consider the ethics and sustainability of the brands you are buying from. Research their environmental credentials and try and choose alternatives to unethical or environmentally damaging brands. Where possible, try and shop from local or small businesses, to reduce shipping emissions and help boost the local economy. Check out Etsy for beautiful, personalised gifts that are often handmade by small business owners. Or try attending a craft fair or local market to purchase gifts that have been lovingly made, locally. There are also many retailers that sell goods made from recycled materials, such as Green Tulip and Protect the Planet, meaning you can buy gifts that show your nearest and dearest and the planet some love. When it comes to wrapping presents, try and use recycled paper or gift bags that can be reused, rather than single use wrapping paper, as this often proves difficult to recycle!
5. Try making a meat free meal
Often, people tend to make a romantic meal to celebrate Valentine’s Day. You could consider going meat-free or plant-based as reducing meat consumption can lessen Co2 emissions and comes with added health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol levels. For example, instead of cooking a steak, opt for a mushroom burger, tofu steak or Quorn meat alternative. Check out BBC Good Food’s Easy vegetarian Valentine's Day menu for more meat-free inspiration. Also remember to compost fruit or vegetable peelings, rather than throwing them away. If you are planning on having a bottle of bubbly with your romantic meal, remember to put the bottle in your kerbside recycling container or take it to your nearest recycling bank - check out our recycling locator for more information.
Overall, Valentine’s Day is a great way to spend quality time with loved ones and show them that you care. However, it is important to consider the actions we can take to reduce our environmental impact, to preserve the planet for future generations. If you are planning a romantic meal for two, check out our kids’ activities to keep them entertained for a few hours! Remember, roses are red, violets are blue, recycling is something we all can do!
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog represent those of the author, and are not those of recycle-more, Valpak Limited or any other organisation.