Roses, candy, and gifts aren’t as sweet and happy as you presume…….

Valentine’s Day, the day of love and lovers and a multibillion-dollar economy! It is indeed a day to communicate to our dear ones how much they mean. A bouquet of roses might not cost much, but do we realize how much it costs our planet? 

We don’t often consider it, but Valentine’s Day is a legitimate environmental catastrophe. How many of us have received the countless cards glossed with sparkles and lacquered that are circulated far and wide on this day alone every year? 

Well, aren’t they accumulating in our landfills? As well as those lovely rose centerpieces that pollute the air, soil, and water supplies with the herbicides and pesticides used to flourish them on a massive scale. 

And think about all the disposable knickknacks, balloons, stuffed animals, party poppers, and ribbons that need to be thrown away.

Well, if you’re planning to celebrate this auspicious day with an adored one, you undoubtedly have a plan: a dazzling Valentine’s card, a basket of chocolate bars, and a pricey meal at a fancy restaurant. 

And, what if there was a better way to express your affection—not just to your Valentine, but to the entire planet? 

Here, we have compiled an inventory of illuminating ideas to celebrate this Valentine’s Day with our planet.

So, pause a second to tell your friends or family members that you love them, and don’t miss on wishing Mother Earth a Happy Valentine’s Day as well! Let us all consider the Earth to be your sweet Valentine this year.

1. How about a DIY-ed valentines day card?

As per the Greeting Card Association, Americans purchase 6.5 million cards annually. What’s worse? They are all made of paper and travel long distances using carbon fuels. 

That’s countless trees being slain just to print something that one can say aloud. What could be more unfulfilling than causing harm to the environment for something that will probably end up in the waste bin?

Next, the massive quantities of water devoured by the paper industry and the toxins they yield are unthinkable. 

Did you guys know that when recycled cards break down, they release methane? If so, why don’t we forgo the yearly card trip this year and make our own Valentine’s Day card from reused papers?

Creating Valentine’s cards helps us communicate our artistic side while giving the relationship a genuine delight and appreciation. 

It might not be as perfect or pretty as a store-bought card, but it will make a massive difference to the receiver and encapsulate 1000 times more emotions. 

Optionally, you could use technology to show your cherished ones how much you appreciate them by emailing them an e-card

There are countless free online platforms where you can make and send e-cards. It is a pretty intelligent way to express your feelings without harming the environment.

2. Wholesome homemade goodies over boxed chocolates!

Stickers - green Valentine's day
WaaHome Homemade gift card maker stickers| Amazon Purchase Link

Dessert and chocolate packages with multiple layers of plastic wrapping are a horror show for the ecosystem. If your companion has a sugar addiction, consider making your own homemade delicious delights

When viable, use fresh ingredients that are also 100 % sustainably sourced. In this manner, you can offer a meaningful and tasty present while not ruining the planet.

If your partner is a massive admirer of processed pleasant coca, make absolutely sure it is procured conscientiously. 

The act of transforming cocoa into chocolate is strikingly resource-intensive. Coupled with increased carbon emissions from transportation to processing, a single bar of chocolate requires over 1,000 liters of water. 

But do not sulk; here are a few things you can do to make the most of your greener chocolate bar!

  • Dark chocolate, as opposed to milk chocolate, incorporates less sugar and has a lower carbon footprint. So, go dark!
  • Buy fair-trade sweets to support sustainable cocoa-growing and manufacturing methodologies.
  • Support local chocolate companies that prioritize quality and integrity in their manufacturing processes.

3. A plant in a pot lasts a lifetime!

Flowers shipped from a far distance may appear unique and affectionate, but the environmental consequences of transporting blossoms from huge farms to our grocery store are significant.

Carbon pollution from delivery trucks is one of the reasons why it is often preferable to buy locally grown goods. 

A beautiful bunch of roses, on the other hand, suggests to your fiance that they are your Valentine. But the dilemma is that they don’t last as long, not even a few days!

Then why don’t we give our lovers something that will last a long time and speak your “I love you(s)” for an extended period? 

Why purchase a flower arrangement when you could get the entire plant? It lasts much longer, adds brightness and coziness to any space, and does not contribute to an environmentally damaging sector.

4. Look out for sustainable companies.

If you are looking forward to purchasing your partner a present, be careful where you go shopping. 

Choose enterprises that are environmentally conscious and have eco-friendly practices. Before actually making a purchase, consider the supplies used in manufacturing, where it was delivered from, and how long the goods will last.

On a brighter note, local thrift retail for gift ideas isn’t just for Christmas; it can also be fantastic for Valentine’s Day. 

Discount and garage sale stores are also an excellent option for repurposed items, such as knickknacks or decorations that you might typically purchase for Valentine’s Day.

5. Say no to plastic wrapping papers!

No plastic bags - green valentine's day
No plastic bags| Logo Credit: The Kathmandu Post

Anytime there is a festival or occasion, we use so many packaging wrappers for gifts. Not to mention the miles of adhesive tape and pretty useless ribbons that end up on trash bins. 

Because we cannot reuse most wrapping papers due to cuts and creases, it winds up in landfills. Pretty gift wrappers are wrapping the landfills; what a tragedy!

Wrapping paper is not sustainable and environmentally sound; it is often coated in sparkles and acrylic, adhered with plastic-based adhesive tape, and fastened with artificial laces and ribbons. 

This Valentine’s Day, how about we try folding gifts in scarves? Well, there will be no waste because the scarf is also a gift! 

And, if you strive to purchase a scarf made from natural fibers, you’ll be contributing even less carbon to the environmental crisis.

6. Skip the restaurant: At home date night!

How on Earth is Valentine’s Day perfect unless you treat your girlfriend to a special dinner, right? 

On the other hand, heading outside for a lovely meal can harm the planet, beginning with the fuel used in your transportation. Next, your dreamy pork chop relates to a wide variety of environmental impairments.

So how about we cook a hearty dinner for our significant other at home this year to enchant them?

Use fresh seasonal ingredients and products because they are healthier and beneficial for the economy and the ecosystem. 

Seasonal vegetables can be grown without pesticides and genetic manipulation- both harmful to the planet and our health.

Furthermore, eating locally grown food diminishes the food mileage of shipping goods, minimizing environmental damage. 

Additionally, take your adored one to the local farmer’s market to grab recipes so you can cook a greener dinner together while enjoying the experience. I swear, it will be a memorable date!

7. Show some love to chicken and pork!

No meat for valentine's day
No meat for Valentine’s day| Illustration Credit: Product Hunt

By reducing your processed meats and dairy consumption, you can dramatically lower your environmental and ecological footprint. Meat and dairy consume 83% of grassland and 60% of agricultural greenhouse emissions

A vegan diet is the most compelling way to minimize your environmental impact, as it reduces greenhouse gases and worldwide acidification, acreage, and water consumption. 

This Valentine’s Day is a superb opportunity to try a vegan or vegetarian dish to express your love for both the planet and your companion.

8. Go stargazing

Photo by Yuting Gao

Staring in the starry vastness is the most meaningful thing one can do to celebrate Valentine’s Day. 

Find a location with as little ambient light pollution as feasible, carry some hot beverages and comforters, and cuddle up together.  

The experience will remind you both that in a world full of limitless possibilities, you are genuinely together.

9. And the showstopper- Presence over presents!

This valentine make memories that last forever| Quote credit: Nice PNG

How about we honor the gift of presence rather than materialistic gifts, demonstrating how spending a happy time with our love can be more significant than receiving many presents. 

This emotion is especially poignant on Valentine’s Day because there is no nicer time to solidify your connection and express your fondness for your mate than by sharing an experience. 

Shared experiences can solidify your bond and leave you with lovely memories that will outlast gifts. 

Memories do not have to be costly; they can be as basic as a sentimental walk, a campfire picnic, or a deep conversation. 

The most vital point is that you get to invest uninterrupted time with loved ones to enjoy each other’s presence.

Pro-tip: Put your phones away all through the day to enjoy each other’s presence at the next level.

To Conclude

Human influence has been disrupting the Earth’s natural ecosystems’ equilibrium and magnificence, but it also implies humanity is at the center of the remedy. 

On an individual basis, we can control others via our daily activities, and therefore we must transform the way we exhibit love and appreciation starting from February 14. 

Additionally, we must realize that the Earth is the enabler of everything we do, and she ought to be in a mutually fostering engagement rather than an unfortunate one-sided love connection with humans. 

We hope you are feeling the earthly love today and that you are thinking of ways to show it back to our incredible planet!

We often believe that love hurts, but it doesn’t have to when it comes to love between us and the planet.

Shradha Bhatta holds a Bachelors’s Degree in Social Work along with a Post-graduate degree in Project Management from Georgian College in Canada. Shradha enjoys writing on a variety of topics and takes pleasure in discovering new ideas. She likes traveling and spending time with nature. She is a very people-person who loves talking about climate change and alerting people to go green!