How much waste does Valentine's Day produce?
Around 40 million people in the UK celebrate Valentine’s Day and spend somewhere in the region of £1.3 billion on the holiday every year.
In the UK alone we send more than 25 million Valentine's Day cards. Many of these are recyclable but the use of glitter and improper disposal means plenty end up in landfill sites.
250 million stems of flowers are sold around the world every Valentine’s Day with many ending up in landfill sites. And with the reality being that roses are a summer flower in the UK, these symbolic buds of romance must be imported from the likes of Kenya, Ethiopia, and Latin America.
On top of the carbon emissions, flower bouquets are often also wrapped in thin plastic which can’t be recycled and cut floral arrangements can also be grown with harmful agrochemicals and pesticides.
How can we be more sustainable on Valentine's Day?
Make your own cards!
With the equivalent of more than 8,000 trees going to waste each year, why not show some love for your partner AND the planet by sending an e-card? Or if you're going to go down the card route, be sure to look out for recyclable cards and nothing containing glitter! Or if you're feeling creative, why not make your own card and demonstrate your sustainability credentials to your partner by using recycled paper... now that's a way to win someone's heart!
Opt for plants over out of season flowers
Roses are red, violets are blue, plants last longer and are better for the environment too!
To help minimise milage, choose in season flowers from local, environmentally minded florists, and don't forget to compost them after. Or if you're after something longer lasting, consider buying a house or garden plant instead. This gesture not only symbolises the longevity of your love but improves air quality by reducing CO2 levels!
Looking to eat out?
How about wine and fizz?
With over 500 commercial vineyards in the UK and around 180 wineries, English wine is growing in popularity. If you're looking to raise a glass to your sweetheart, then English sparkling wine is a standout choice. It's being recognised for its quality and has been praised by wine experts and connoisseurs alike.
Choose fairtrade chocolate
For many of us, sweet treats are a staple of Valentine's Day. However, traditional chocolate gifts often come with a dark side, from plastic packaging and unfair trade practices to the use of harmful pesticides in the cocoa production process. Instead of buying into this, why not opt for fair trade, ethical chocolate options?
Or, If you want to show your love in a more meaningful way, why not make your own chocolate truffles? Not only will you be able to control the ingredients, but you'll also be able to make the treats uniquely to your loved ones taste.