Traditionally, February 14th has been a day to celebrate love. But Valentine's Day seems to have evolved into another excuse for consumerism, with negative impacts for the environment.

So without ruining all the fun, how can we have a more sustainable Valentine's Day?

Flowers

Many flowers are grown out of season in energy-intense greenhouses and imported to the UK. And often the workers are not paid a fair wage.

Instead, could you buy a potted plant, Fairtrade or seasonal flowers, or even plant a tree?

Gifts

A lot of waste is created on Valentine's Day from unwanted gifts. And jewellery is often made in unfair conditions.

This year, why not get more creative with gift ideas. Could you buy less, give experiences, upcycle, buy secondhand, make gifts or buy local/ethical gifts?

Chocolates

Ingredients for chocolate are often produced by workers who are not paid fair wages and the ingredients are not grown organically. Cheaper chocolate is often made with unsustainable palm oil, which contributes to deforestation.

Could you buy Fairtrade, organic chocolates this year and avoid products with unsustainably sourced palm oil?

Cards

Around 8.7 million Valentine’s cards are bought a year in the UK alone, which has a huge environmental impact.

This year, could you make your own card out of recycled materials or even send an e-card?

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Find some more ideas and top tips for having a #ZeroWasteValentines below:

https://realsustainability.org/an-ethical-guide-to-valentines-day/

https://thoroughlymoderngrandma.com/how-to-have-a-zero-waste-valentines-day/

https://greenerideal.com/guides/sustainable-valentines-day/