So, valentine’s day is just around the corner. A day full of love and romance which is either ignored or celebrated (or cried over by some single hopeless romantics out there–not mocking, I used to be like that!) by some people. Regardless, if you are celebrating it, and you want to give love to the environment as well, here are some ways.
1. Choose your chocolate wisely
Some of you may say chocolate is overrated, but for those of you who still insist on doing the tradition, then you need to know if the chocolate you’re going to buy is ethical or eco friendly or not.
Chocolate or cocoa industry can contribute to deforestation, child labor, and impoverished working conditions. So, if you still want to give your love some chocolate, go for something that is fair-trade to support better working and growing conditions.
Different from the conventional one, fair-trade chocolate is often shade-grown, which protects rain forests. It also ensures farmers have safe working conditions and are paid fair wages. There are a lot of chocolates like these already. Probably one of the most famous ones is Endangered Species Chocolate. Basically, these chocolates help you donate to help protect wildlife and habitats.
If you’re not a fan of buying chocolates and you prefer making them (and you still want them to be ethical), you can get products like Make Your Own Chocolate Kit. This product contains fair-trade cocoa butter and cocoa powder to make something special with your Valentine. Nothing better than a homemade, eco conscious chocolate isn’t it?
2. Cook something (or cook a meal together)
So your significant other isn’t a sweet tooth? Then, you can just make them a sustainable home-made meal at home with healthy and organic ingredients. There’s a lovely sentimental touch when your darling takes a green meal to their workplace and eats their lunch there isn’t it? It’s also romantic when you cook something and eat it together, maybe for dinner.
To make it more fun and intimate, make your dinner together instead! With this, you can be friendlier to the planet and friendlier to your wallet by cooking a romantic dinner at home. Then, you can enjoy your favorite drink together and/or feed each other. Make sure that your ingredients are organic and free-range products.
3. Wrap your gifts (not)
Giving gifts is also something that you can do on Valentine’s day, but in order to make it more eco conscious, it’s better to not wrap your gifts. Now, I’m not saying that you give something as it is–it’s not romantic at all, is it? I’m saying you should give other types of gifts.
If you’re feeling creative, you can redecorate your living room and make a fort using fairy lights, blankets, and pillows and spend your time together there. It’s thoughtful and intimate at the same time. Imagine the look of surprise when your love comes to that room.
Other ways you can do is convince them to take a day off and go for a hike together and enjoy the view from the top (and then have a little picnic). You can also go to a museum or an art gallery that you’ve been wanting to visit, absorbing some of the world’s most beautiful art or learning more about history with your love by your side.
You can also give them a ticket to a concert, a theme park, or a film. Even though it’s simple, it never goes out of style and that ticket can be a memento of something sweet that happens that day.
If you must wrap your gifts, consider choosing something eco-friendly such as seeded gift wrap that is made from recycled paper and embedded with wildflower seeds. When Valentine’s Day is over, simply plant the paper in the soil and watch for beautiful flowers to grow.
4. Watching films in your domicile
I understand that nowadays you can do a lot of “Netflix and chill”, and you can certainly do that to celebrate valentine’s day. You can spice it up by watching only romantic films together that day. If you’re not a fan of romantic genre, then you can criticize the films together or humor yourselves by looking at your partner’s horrified/disgusted reactions.
You can say that going to the cinema is somehow more celebratory than staying at home. But what would be better; being curled up on the couch with a bottle of wine and some snacks or being in a crowded theater with some guy chomping popcorn and slurping a soda next to you? Everyone’s preference is different, though, so ask yourself which scenario will be more romantic.
5. Instead of flowers, opt for potted plants
I’m not gonna lie, receiving flowers is a nice surprise, but the thing about bouquet is that they’re sort of not long lasting. Yes, you can dry them and dried flowers do have a charm. But potted plants such as Rose plant, Orchids, Bonsai, Money plant, and Lucky Bamboo plants can be everlasting.
If your partner has a bit of plant-neglecting reputation, then you should opt for indoor plants which can thrive under little sunlight and suck out indoor air pollutants as well. Isn’t it nice to have a mini, living air purifier around your house/room?
Planting a tree can also be an option for you, if you want to make a bigger impact. A tree starts as just a sapling, but as it grows it flourishes, blooms and gains strength. It can be a great symbolism to your relationship and journey together. You can also think of it as a way to be responsible toward the environment, because instead of killing trees to make paper cards, you grow a tree
6. Eco conscious gifts
Now, things can happen and for whatever reasons (not judging, really) you simply must give gifts, try to make it as eco friendly as possible. You can do this by giving your dearest gifts such as antique jewelry or non-toxic perfume.
Perfumes are wonderful, aren’t they? Well, even though they smell great, they can contain harmful chemicals that can cause skin irritations, headaches, and even cancer. Instead of giving them to your partner, you can choose organic essential oils instead.
For fragrance connoisseurs out there, you can make your own custom scents by combining your favorite essential oils and a carrier oil. Coming up with your own type of fragrance for your valentine is so personal and intimate, don’t you think?
Of course, there are ethical and eco conscious jewelry out there, but giving your significant other an antique one is a good alternative as well. I mean, there are things you can find in old, vintage jewelry that you can’t have in modern ones.
There are a lot of online shops that sell vintage jewelry and eco conscious ones. The choice is yours.
What are you gonna give your partner?