5 Ways to Show Your Lover You Care With Zero Carbon Footprint This Valentine’s Day

Jan 28, 2020

Health & Lifestyle | "Sustainability in The City" Column | Kristina Cassar Dowling

With every Hallmark holiday comes a longing to please your loved ones, show them that you care and that you, in no way, forgot about them when it matters. Valentine’s Day is one of those days where a teeny bit of affection needs to be shown, no matter how little you believe in the ‘holiday’, a small gesture goes a long way and deep down inside, it’s always appreciated.

These tokens of love usually come in the form of individually wrapped chocolates, one-time-use cards, overpriced long-stem roses, unethical jewellery and an overly flamboyant meal with all the trimmings. Well, how about shaking it up a wee bit this Valentine’s Day? Why not annihilate that carbon footprint and opt for eco-friendly, ethically sourced and heartfelt gifts that need not limit themselves to Valentine’s Day.

Here are 5 totally loved-up options to keep your Valentine happy and the planet clean:

Homemade chocolates

Well, yes, of course, it’s far easier to pop into the supermarket, or even your artisan supplier and grab a box of chocolates - but where’s the emotion in that? Grab yourself come raw cocoa nibs, coconut cream, coconut sugar and a pinch of cinnamon and prepare your lover some vegan cinnamon truffles.

Simply melt the cocoa nibs in the coconut cream with sugar to taste in a bain marie and heat until completely smooth. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours until firm, scoop and roll into mini truffle balls and sprinkle cinnamon for colour, flavour and a touch of luxury. You can even add a roasted almond to the centre of each truffle for a touch more class.

Recycled cards

Every greeting card we buy is covered in plastic. From the protective cover to the card itself, the crazy amount of plastic for a single use card is mad and it’s so easily avoidable. Grab yourself a decent piece of cardboard from a cereal box, an online delivery or even ask your local grocer for a storage box if you’re totally waste free at home; gather some pretty paints and pens and go to town!

Add your personal touches with little notes that will truly make your lover gleam with happiness. Throw in a few cheeky inside jokes and even add some dried flowers to the card to replace the drama of glitter.

Flower pots

While roses are gorgeous in every sense, they’re entirely wasteful. Why cut a dozen roses and have them embellish your living room for a week when you can get your hands on a flower pot full of live, healthy flowers; ready to fill your rooms with colour, happiness and at times even oxygen.

Opt for gerberas if you’re looking for an air purifying element in your life. They’re really pretty and clean out all the nasties in the air that we simply do not need.

Artisan products

Whether it’s a hand-woven bracelet, a specifically welded necklace or even a hand-sewn scarf; there’s so much more personality in these items than an off-the-shelf-garment. Artisan products are usually ethically sourced, eco-conscious and support local trade. There’s also that added satisfaction that you’re getting your partner a bespoke product, unique to their wardrobe.

Get in touch with your favourite artisan and custom order your next gift to really leave your mark on Valentine’s Day.

Home cooked luxury

Last, but by no means least, the Valentine’s meal. This is probably the most important part of the day - there’s always a reason to eat good food and a home cooked meal is by far the best. Amp it up a tad for Valentine’s Day; go the extra mile and make it a three course stunner, wine and dessert included. Why not!

Vegans; organic, seasonal veg is always the way to go! Veggies; why not prepare an elegant cheese board and to all the pescitarians out there; one word - shellfish!

With these 5 simple solutions, you can be sure to keep your partner happy, feel that Valentine’s rush and even lessen the guilt on such a wasteful celebration. Always look at the bigger picture - there’s so much more to Valentine’s Day than a cute teddy bear or box of chocs.