It’s the time of year when we start to hear about candle-lit dinners and red roses. These Valentine’s Day staples are lovely, but are they sustainable? It’s easy for shop-bought blooms and fine dining to take their toll on the planet.
This is the first 14th February in the 2020s, so why not try doing things a little differently this decade? Going for eco alternatives to Valentine’s day outings and eatings is easier on the environment and more exciting for you and your date.
Still after a special sustainable present? Our Ethical Valentine’s Day Gift Guide is packed with ideas for him, for her and for anyone you want to treat this 14th February.
Eco Valentine’s Day Dining
Enjoying a Valentine’s Day meal with your date is a hallmark of this romantic holiday. Keen to roll up your sleeves and get into the kitchen yourself? Here are some ideas for how to make your plate a little lighter on the planet.
Cooking For Your Date
Will you be waking up next to your special someone? Breakfast in bed is a brilliant way to start the day. If you use a coffee pod brands, then kick things off with one of these sustainable coffee pod brands. Prefer brewing your own? These fairtrade coffees are delicious and sustainable options.
Keeping some or all of the spread vegan-friendly is a wonderful way to make your Valentine’s day breakfast or dinner more sustainable. Culinary creativity is also bound to impress your date! Check out these seasonal vegan dinner recipes for some plant-based inspiration. You could even pair your meal prep with a present, by investing in and following a recipe from one of these amazing vegan cookbooks.
Having an indulgent dessert is an obligatory part of the Valentine’s day feast too. Why not give this showstopper of a vegan raspberry and apricot ice cream cake a go? You could make it extra eco by swapping in a more seasonal fruit, like pears. If you incorporate the raspberry syrup recipe into another part of your meal, then this cake can be a fully zero waste treat too!
Valentine’s Day Drinks
Speaking of syrup, having a drink with your loved one is another classic part of any Valentine’s Day. If you’re planning on making a pre-dinner cocktail then choose a sustainable liqueur. This gin comes from a distillery that does amazing things for the planet.
If you’d rather enjoy a few glasses of something over your home cooked meal, there are plenty of sustainable wines you can find on your local supermarket’s shelves. After something more special? Check out our natural wine guide to give you an idea of what beautiful and biodynamic bottle to go for.
Going Out For Dinner And Drinks This Valentine’s Day
If you aren’t into entertaining at home, then you can still keep things ethical and special. Check out these ethical places to take a date in London. If you want to make a night of it, then you could move on for a low waste cocktail or try out a vegan eatery or a zero waste restaurant. Not only are these fresh and fun takes on the standard date, but they are a great way to support some of the innovative, eco businesses out there.
Fancy injecting an element of excitement and sustainable surprise into your romantic rendezvous? You could tackle food waste while the sparks fly, by trying out a food waste app, or making a trip to the smart Fridge.
Either option will be an adventure, and will allow you to eat out on fine food that would have otherwise gone to waste.
Ethical Valentine’s Day Activities
Looking to expand on your romantic repertoire? Concerts, theatres and mini breaks can really break the bank, and they’re just not necessary for eco-friendly fun.
If you are really into Valentine’s experience gifts, check out our feature on romantic staycations.
How about planning a bike ride in your nearest area of natural beauty? Cycling is such a sustainable activity, and you can enjoy it wherever you live. Even if you’re in the centre of a city, there’s bound to be a river or a park somewhere for you to explore with your sweetheart. Don’t have a bike? Take an equally sustainable stroll.
Looking for something more ‘out there’ to do? There are some excellent eco Valentine’s Day activities for him or her who loves communing with nature.
Are you feeling brave and bold and looking for a real bonding experience? You could dive into that river rather than cycling alongside it. There are all kinds of health benefits to wild swimming! It may be freezing, but it’s great fun and it’s guaranteed to get your hearts racing.
Don’t fancy an icy dip? How about getting togged up and going out foraging? If you’re able to walk through the woods, great! Here are some top tips for fruit foraging. If not, you can still forage for food in the city. Of course, please be very careful about consuming what you find, we’re going for love potion not poison…
If you and your other half want to devote the day to showing the planet some love as well as each other, you could give gleaning a go. It’s a truly ethical way to spend some time outside together, and save some lovely veg from going to waste and enjoy it for your Valentine’s feast.
Valentine’s Day Flowers And Chocolates: Eco Alternatives
Putting a sustainable slant on Valentine’s Day traditions is a way to nod to the classics, but spice them up a bit.
Are flowers a go to for you? How about incorporating plants into your day in a more eco way?
There’s a reason for there being so many gardening metaphors for thriving relationships… If you and your partner are both green fingered, what could be more romantic than tending to your garden together? You could set yourselves up for flourishing future seasons, by sewing some seeds for the Springtime. These are some of the best vegetables to grow in the chillier months. If the garden and/or the relationship is still in the early stages, then you could plant some trees or even create your own DIY wormery.
Don’t really like getting your hands dirty? You can still buy your beau a beautiful bunch. Just go for Fairtrade flowers.
Chocolate has to feature in your Valentine’s day in one way or another as well. Whether it’s as a small gift, or something to enjoy together after your romantic meal, make sure you buy from an ethical brand.