Hearts, roses, cute stuffed toys and fancy boxes of choccies, yes, that’s right, Valentine's Day is around the corner. Maybe you’re a massive fan of it and everything it symbolises, or maybe all the lovey-dovey stuff just isn’t your scene. Whatever the case, I’m here to show you it’s possible to celebrate the day in a way that not only shows love to your nearest and dearest but also to the whole world around you. Let’s all work towards a more sustainable Valentine’s Day this year.
There’s no denying that annual holidays and festivals traditionally aren’t very planet-friendly and can produce a lot of unnecessary waste. We give and receive gifts that we don’t need, and frankly, don’t often even want. Food waste goes up because we ‘treat ourselves’ but there’s often a lot left over and then there are things like cards, paper and decorations.
Now, don’t worry, I’m not trying to be a killjoy. Where there’s a problem, there’s an opportunity to find a solution. So, that’s what I’ve done.
I’m Sinead - The Wondering Wandering Vegan, and in this post, I'm excited to share some sustainable and heartwarming ways of spreading love for the planet this Valentine's Day.
Ideas for Sustainable Valentine’s Day Gifts
Even though I just said that we don’t always need gifts, it doesn’t mean it isn’t nice to give…and get some from time to time. If a little thought is put into it, it’s easy to find the perfect gift that both your partner and the planet will love, let’s take a look at some ideas:
Plant a Tree Together: Yes, I know, this might sound a little hippie-dippie, but if you think about it, it’s actually really sweet. Each year you can see the tree grow and get stronger, as you and your partner grow stronger as a couple.
It could even become a tradition to visit the tree each Valentine's Day.
Eco-Friendly Health and Beauty Products: Some great brands have created, vegan, cruelty-free and sustainable health and beauty products, just like Friendly Soap!
Friendly Soap has been a vegan brand since it began 16 years ago. The brand is also plastic-free, cruelty-free, and avoids nasty and harmful chemicals like SLS and parabens.
Friendly Soap has lots of wonderful products, but I know the one I’d most like to receive this Valentine's Day! The Gifts of Nature Hamper, it’s got four full-size soap bars as well as some other cool accessories such as a wood fibre soap box and a konjac body sponge.
So if you’re trying to find a sustainable Valentine's Day gift, this Gifts of Nature Hamper could be the perfect thing.
Ethical Jewellery: Yes, jewellery has been a Valentine’s Day favourite for a long time and I don’t see any reason why this has to change. So, go ahead and gift your loved one a beautiful shiny necklace or even a sparkling ring, but make it even more thoughtful and sustainable by choosing a piece made with recycled materials or ethically sourced gems.
Vegan Cooking Class: A cooking class is a fun, interactive gift that's perfect for foodie couples. And as we are becoming more aware that veganism and sustainability come hand-in-hand why not show the planet a little love by going for a vegan cooking class?
Sustainable Fashion: As well as health and beauty brands, there are some incredible eco-conscious fashion brands that are using sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free materials.
Take a little time to look online at some eco-friendly brands and choose a thoughtful gift for your loved one and the planet. If you want to know what makes a brand sustainable or not take a look at Good On You when researching new companies.
A Sustainable Valentine's Day Date
Now, it’s not all about gifts, spending quality time with your special someone on Valentine’s Day is a great way to show you care.
Tips for a Plant-Based Valentine's Meal
A vegan Valentine's dinner can be just as romantic as any traditional meal and as we know, eating more plant-based food is a great step towards a more sustainable life. Here are some tips to make your Valentine's dinner special:
Set the Scene: Create a warm and relaxing atmosphere with vegan-friendly candles and soft music. Check out these fantastic vegan and cruelty-free candle brands.
Experiment with Ingredients: Eating something you don’t usually eat is a simple way to make dinner more interesting. Explore exotic fruits, vegetables, and grains you haven't tried before.
Craft a Signature Cocktail: Create your partner their very own cocktail, using fresh fruit, juices and plant-based milks. I’d probably practice beforehand because unless you’re a professionally trained mixologist, your first try may not be something your loved one wants to put their name to.
Presentation is Key: If you’re used to knocking up dinner most nights, presentation has probably taken a backseat to speed and convenience, but this is the occasion to take a little more time and care over it.
Set the table, you could even create a beautiful tablescape using natural decorations you find in the garden or the park, or simply add some nice flowers and then take time to beautifully plate your dishes.
Something Sweet: Don’t forget the dessert! Fortunately, there are plenty of fantastic vegan desserts available these days, or you could even go all out and make your own. A rich dark chocolate torte with raspberries is a favourite of mine.
Eco-friendly Date Ideas for a Sustainable Valentine's Day
Your Valentine’s date doesn’t need to be all about the meal. Get out there, do something new, laugh, have fun and make memories together. Make your Valentine's Day memorable and earth-friendly with these date ideas:
Nature Hike: If this isn’t something you do often, you’re missing out. It’s a great way to enjoy the serenity of nature and come together in the present moment.
DIY Workshop: Find a fun workshop where you can create something special together, like pottery or a piece of art.
Visit a Local Sanctuary: Support an animal sanctuary in your area while enjoying being in the company of happy recused animals.
Stargazing: Find a spot away from city lights, bring some snacks, lay back and take in the night sky.
Support Local Businesses: You could simply just go to a nearby pub, enjoy a pint of local beer and spend some time together.
The list of ideas for a sustainable Valentine’s Day could go on but hopefully, this has helped you find something that you’re excited to try and that will spread love for the planet this Valentine's Day!
None of us have to miss out on the fun and celebration, these ideas not only allow us to enjoy the day and show someone special that we care but they also let us do it in a kind way that doesn’t harm our precious planet.
As we celebrate love this Valentine's Day, let's remember that our choices have the power to impact not just our lives but the world around us. By choosing eco-friendly gifts, preparing a vegan feast, or planning a sustainable date, we're not just nurturing our relationships but also showing our love and respect for the planet.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Sinead O’Carroll - The Wondering Wandering Vegan
Sinead is the creator of The Wondering Wandering Vegan blog, your one-stop shop for all things vegan and sustainable. With over 18 years of experience and research in the plant-based world, her goal is to make sure vegans never miss out! Check out her latest vegan and sustainable tips here. Follow The Wondering Wandering Vegan on Instagram to see Sinead’s latest vegan adventures.