There is no doubt that Valentine’s day has been commercialised into a marketer’s dream, with over £650 million being spent in honour of the day in 2018. Unfortunately, the consequences of this mass consumerism undoubtably have huge implications in terms of the impact on our beloved planet. But showing love does not have to cost money or have a huge environmental impact. What our world needs more than anything right now is love and I personally believe that we should take any excuse to share love whenever we are given the chance, whether this be for romantic partner, a friend, your neighbour or your cat! And if you can be a bit more conscious in your giving then even better. So, it is with this is mind that I have written a quick guide to sharing love while loving your planet this valentine’s day.
I am a big lover of flowers! But there are definitely more eco conscious ways to give blooms than going to your local supermarket or florist and grabbing the prettiest bunch you see.
Consider locally grown and in season which cuts out the artificial lighting, the plastic and the air miles. To find your local flower grower go to https://www.flowersfromthefarm.co.uk/members-map and search by your location.
Or you could skip cut flowers altogether and gift a potted plant, some spring bulbs in bloom, something from your own garden or even a tree sapling that can be planted?
When you are shopping for the perfect gift take a bit of extra time to consider the company you are buying from. Have a read up about the company ethics, spend a little longer reading ingredients and check out there packaging protocols if you are having something delivered. We at Greener Beauty spend time ensuring that everything we sell comes from ethical brands that use only natural, vegan ingredients. We plant a tree for every order we receive and all our parcels are sent in plastic free packaging. As a company, being ethical and sustainable is fundamental to who we are and we seek out similar standards when shopping for ourselves. You can read more about our ethics here
Think Fair Trade
Valentines classics like chocolates and wine are a lovely gift for those who like a treat but, remember to think about the origin of your gifts and give Fair Trade whenever you can. The Fairtrade certification ensures farmers are protected from exploitation, helps promote protection of the natural environment and enables consumers to demand a better deal for those that produce our food. For more information visit the Fair trade website here https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/
Get creative with your cards
Over 25 million Valentine’s cards are bought each year in the UK alone and while the gesture of sending a card is truly a lovely one, there are ways we can have less of an environmental impact and still uphold this custom. How about getting creative and making a collage card from old photos, magazines, newspaper or even old scraps of materials? Or if you are super creative you could create a zero-waste chalked card on your patio! My favourite ever card was made for me by my carpenter husband who found an old door that was being thrown out which he cut in half and hinged together making a giant wooden card!
Cook a delicious meal or cake at home
This is another tradition in our house, every year instead of buying a present I make my husband a cake, it usually involves chocolate and peanut butter in some combination! If you can take a bit of extra time to think about your ingredients by buying local, organic and seasonal when possible and try to think about minimising plastic packaging where you can, the planet will thank you.
If you’d like some inspiration for recipes check out this delicious and easy recipe for mini chocolate cupcakes by Clemie’s Vegan Cakes.
You can make an event of your cooking efforts by dressing up in your finest outfits and creating a super romantic home dining experience! Try lighting some candles and putting on some music; The Burning desire candle from Vegan Pure contains Ylang Ylang and Neroli so is perfect for adding a bit of sensuality to any evening!
Prioritise presence over presents
The greatest gift you can give someone is your time and attention, so as lovely as it is to give and receive material items consider spending some quality time with those you love; You can save some money and the earth’s precious resources at the same time. Get outside, go for a walk and enjoy nature or curl up together and watch a film, do whatever it is that brings you joy and makes your loved ones feel loved.
Share the love with those who need it most
Spread your love far and wide this Valentines by volunteering your time at your local homeless charity or animal shelter or donate a bag of clothes or some money to one of your favourite causes. Doing this with your partner or a group of friends makes this even more meaningful for all involved.
Share your gratitude
Simply telling your nearest and dearest that you love and appreciate them can be a really special gesture and should never be underestimated. Put pen to paper and tell them 3 things that you are grateful to them for, or even better pick up the phone and tell them.
However you choose to spend Valentine’s Day this year we at Greener Beauty hope you love and feel love in abundance.
Katie is the Business development Manager at Greener Beauty. She is an ethical vegan who will always believe in love