Love the planet this Valentine’s Day

If there is one thing in this world that we always need more of, it’s love.

And although I’m a firm believer that we should show our loved ones just how we feel about them every day of the year, there is something a little bit gorgeous about Valentine’s Day.

So, why do we celebrate this day of love in the first place?

The history of Valentine’s Day

The exact history of Valentine’s Day is still contended. Some say it originated from the pagan fertility celebration Lupercalia, which took place in the middle of February for centuries. Lupercalia wasn’t a particularly romantic holiday, however, as it involved ritual sacrifice of animals, and naked men running around with strips of animal hide, whipping women to “promote” fertility.

Some believe Valentine’s Day is named after one of two Saint Valentines, both priests, who were put to death by the Roman Emperor Claudius in the third century on – you guessed it – February 14th.

It is thought that sometime later, the church decided to turn Lupercalia into a Christian celebration and decided to also use it to remember St Valentine. February 14th has since become a date in the calendar where we specifically express our appreciation for the people we love.

The environmental impact of Valentine’s Day

Like any commercial holiday, consuming mindlessly for Valentine’s Day has an impact on the planet.

Globally, we send a billion valentine cards and buy 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate each year – that’s a lot of paper, cardboard and plastic waste. Then, there are the 100 million roses that are grown just to be cut, producing 9,000 metric tons of CO2.

When it comes to finding a gift for a loved one for Valentine’s Day – or any day – step away from the stereotypes and opt for something truly unique.

Share your love with the planet and your loved ones this Valentine’s Day

Here are our top tips to love the planet as well as your favourite human, this Valentine’s Day.

1. Opt for eco-friendly Valentine’s Cards

The options here are endless. Let your love grow, instead of the waste in your bin, with a plantable seeded wildflower card. Get creative with old magazines or newspapers, or tickets and receipts from special days out and make your own card. Or do away with the cards altogether and write each other love letters instead.

2. Spend time, rather than money, on each other

Life gets so busy, it can be easy to forget to spend quality time with the people we love when we are rushing around for work / the kids / the shopping / the parents.

Rather than buying fancy gifts, why not gift each other your presence? Block out some time yours and your loved one’s calendars – literally – and make a promise to each other to be totally present during that time. Phones off. Emails off. Just the two of you, and perhaps some candles, gentle music, your favourite food and time to talk.

Or throw on some Dance Classics and jump around your kitchen together. However you like to be joyful together, do that, together.

3. Shop small with planet-positive businesses

When it comes to unique gifts, small businesses are where it’s at. Here are some of our top picks for this Valentine’s Day – not a red rose or a teddy bear in sight.

And don’t forget, this Valentine’s Day and every day, the greatest love affair you should have in this world should always be with yourself.

Olivebox ‘Covid Me’ Candle

All of Olivebox’s products have a dedicated end-of-life stream and incorporate the maximum amount of plant-based, light-weight, renewable or recycled materials. Olivebox designs products that naturally have a lower carbon footprint than fossil fuel alternatives. However, because most materials and manufacturing processes still have a carbon footprint, Olivebox works with environmental scientists to measure and publish their carbon footprint. That’s the kind of transparency we like to see! Oliverbox Home’s cheeky and gorgeous ‘Covid Me’ Candle is the perfect styling element to add to any home. Buy it here.

Skin & Tonic Calm Bundle

Skin & Tonic creates 100% natural, mood-lifting self-care products that support your skin, body and mind. Its products are make in the UK using certified organic, cruelty-free ingredients and packaged in fully recyclable  materials. If that wasn’t enough to love the planet, Skin & Tonic plants a tree for every order. Skin & Tonic’s Calm Bundle is the TLC your skin and soul has been asking for. Four skin saviours that work in perfect harmony to calm, nourish and rebalance you, inside and out. Buy the bundle here.

Vintage and antique jewellery from Omneque

Looking for jewellery with a difference? Omneque is a luxury online marketplace that’s dedicated to giving new life to precious objects. Omneque champions the re-use of jewellery through antique and vintage offerings. On the Omneque website, you can find truly one-of-a-kind items, like these vintage YSL Gold Plated Pyramid Earrings. The bright and beautiful pyramid shaped Austrian crystal rhinestones, set into brushed gold plated metal with clip on fastenings, is typical of the Yves Saint Laurent style. Buy them here.

Quarter G/N

For those who enjoy a tipple, but do not enjoy a hangover. Quarter G/N is just like Gin, but a quarter of the strength and a quarter of the impact – it’s vegan, gluten and sugar-free. Made with all-natural ingredients from across Europe and distilled in Leicestershire in the UK, Quarter G/N retains a small product range and donates one percent of its annual sales to 1% for the planet. Buy it here.

Viron World 1992 ‘White Apple’ Elevated Combat Boots

These stylish boots are made from apple waste. Yep, you read that right. These are boots made from 100% APPLE SKIN from apples that were grown for the food industry, in the region of Bolzano in Northern Italy. The outsole is made from 70 percent recycled rubber and the lining is made from recycled PES with bio-based content. Plus, once you have walked your shoes into the ground, you can send them back to the Viron World factory and they will be made into a new pair of shoes. Buy them here.

“The Dip” By Lindsey and Rebecca via Idyll Collective

We love to support independent artists, and so does Idyll Collective. A community of artists, designers, and collectors with a shared passion for all things art, Idyll Collective is also committed to ethical manufacturing and sustainability. For every piece sold, 5 trees are planted through a partnership with One Tree Planted.  “The Dip” is the work of artists Lindsey and Rebecca, who are also are twin sisters, mothers, world travellers, teachers and passionate photographers. Raised on Vancouver Island BC Canada, surrounded by old growth forest, mountains and ocean, nature and landscapes have been a huge inspiration for the pair. Buy it here.

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Charli Ferrand Higgins

After a decade working for global and boutique PR and Marketing agencies in Sydney, with clients that included some of the biggest consumer brands in the world, Charli returned to her homeland of the UK in 2017 and decided the time had come to use her professional skills and experience for good. She has since split her time between supporting passionate, purpose-driven small and medium-sized businesses to grow through conscious content marketing, managing and editing the planet-positive content hub Earth Collective (weareearthcollective.com), and hosting the podcast Easy Being Green? Lessons in sustainable business for SMEs.

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