Celebrate your love for each other and treat yourselves and the planet to an Eco Valentine.
Alongside cards and gift wrapping; chocolate boxes, flowers, food and overpackaged gifts also generate a huge amount of waste. So here are some ideas to celebrate your love for each other without putting an additional burden on the planet.
After Christmas, Valentines is the second biggest card-sending celebration of the year. 13 million Valentine’s cards are bought each year in the UK. Why not cut down the waste and send an e-card instead? Alternatively you can make your own card from recycled materials.
Help cut down on food waste by buying and cooking just the right amount of food.
Most natural aphrodisiac foods such as avocado, asparagus, figs are not in season so why not spice up your romance with a selection of local, seasonal, organic ingredients. Oysters are said to work wonder for your libido and are currently in season. Organic wine and champagne are of course a must.
Cut down your energy cost by dimming the lights or even switching them off altogether. Candles (soy, beeswax or natural wax of course!) will add the perfect romantic touch. Keep your thermostat low and cuddle up together. Save water by showering together just keep it short!
Keep it Fair! The chocolate industry is plagued by issues of human trafficking and child labour on cocoa farms. Ensure that your box of chocolates does not have a bitter sweet taste by choosing Fairtrade and Organic chocolate.
Like many other industries, the flower industry relies on cheap labour and workers work in appalling conditions. Most roses sold in the UK for Valentines are imported. Fairtrade roses are now widely available but should you choose to break with tradition you can find a selection of local seasonal flowers that have been ethically produced in the UK. Tulips are in season as well as daffodils and camellias.
Some diamonds have helped fund devastating civil wars in Africa, destroying the lives of millions. Conflict diamonds are those sold in order to fund armed conflict and civil war. Gold mining is one of the most destructive activities in the world. Toxic chemicals such as cyanide and mercury are used in producing gold. They can pollute drinking water supplies, contaminate farmland and harm the health of workers and communities.
Always check that the jewellery you buy is certified as conflict-free and sourced from sustainable projects.
Organic underwear make a great eco gift for Valentines. Made from organic cotton or bamboo, ethical lingerie help you keep your eco credentials close to your skin. Eco textiles are grown without chemicals and benefit both humans and the environment.
The Romantic Week End:
Thinking of a romantic week end away? Opt for slow travel by train. There are plenty of eco friendly green places to stay around the UK where you can enjoy local food and drink.