By Alice Hudson
Five tips on how to have a V-day that’s sentimental for your significant other and a little softer on the environment too.
Instead of a cut bunch of flowers, which can have detrimental environmental effects and a short life, opt for a living plant. A potted rose, orchid or succulent will make a beautiful and long-lasting Valentine’s gift – to symbolise the longevity of your love. Try local markets or garden centres for beautiful plants. Alternatively, give your other half an array of seeds with the promise of quality time together growing gorgeous flowers, vegetables and fruits.
A written expression of your love is an important part of Valentine’s Day. However, store bought cards are often made with glitter, foil or plastic coatings that mean they cannot be recycled, and we dispose of cards quickly making them a wasteful purchase. This year try writing a heartfelt letter instead or buying an eco-friendly card such as the ones from www.ecofriendlycard.etsy.com which can be planted after, and grow into wild flowers.
The Wrapping Paper
As with cards, much of the wrapping paper we use contains plastic coatings that prevent it from being recycled. Try using brown paper to wrap your gifts and make them personal by covering the paper with drawings and phrases specific to your partner, or pictures of the two of you. Alternatively, if you’re feeling crafty, try and up-cycle an old top into a bag for added sentimentality.
Sweet treats are synonymous with Valentine’s Day, but the excess plastic packaging and bulk production can mean your favourite chocolates aren’t friends to the environment. Home-made treats are much more meaningful, and a great way to show your love that you have thought about them. Try making cookies, cupcakes or even truffles – there are plenty of recipes online to choose from for all skill levels.
We often buy wasteful gifts that are never to be seen again, when the best gift we can give our partners is each other. Instead of a physical gift, why not spend your money on creating an experience for you and your partner. Keep it low-key by planning a romantic picnic or a trip out, or perhaps spend a little more and book cooking lessons for the two of you. Invest in quality time with one another!