Valentine’s Day. A day for giving gifts, fresh flowers and greeting cards adorned with food-based puns because nothing says love like stealing a ‘pizza’ someone’s heart.
Some might say Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year. Sadly, this special day now also comes with an enormous environmental cost. Countless Valentine’s Day cards, chocolate boxes and lingerie sent out of passion for other people are ultimately sent on to landfill amongst the millions of tonnes of waste dumped by Scots each year.
Whether you’re a new love full of grand gestures or a last-minute romantic, here are some sustainable suggestions to share the love this Valentine’s Day...
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Countless #ValentinesDay cards, chocolate boxes and lingerie sent out of passion for other people are ultimately sent on to landfill amongst the millions of tonnes of waste dumped by Scots each year. #HowToWasteLess
Look good feel good
Regrettably, lingerie is part of the fast-fashion problem, particularly as they may not even be worn for that long. This year make the change to something more romantically responsible that will look good and feel great.
There are an increasing number of ethical lingerie brands on the market, including Scotland’s own Miss Vivienne and Molke.
Miss Vivienne is an empowering and inclusive lingerie brand with made to last items that are ethically and sustainably created in the Scottish Borders. Everything at Miss Vivienne is sourced from local businesses and handmade to order, reducing waste created by surplus or unsold stock.
The ethical underwear company, Molke, is passionate about slow fashion and sustainable growth. They make a range of underwear, clothing, and accessories in Perthshire, striving to reduce waste wherever possible.
For gents looking to dress to impress, the Scottish underwear company Bawbags have vibrant and fun designs and do great work supporting in need charities.
Not only have Bawbags moved to using recycled polyester and organic cotton in their classic range, but also now use recycled plastic bottles to make material for their new ‘Cool De Sacs’ range. In their own words, “Who’d have thought you could recycle an old bottle of ginger to help keep your pouch nice and tidy?”.
Make your own
Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than taking the time to make your own unique Valentine’s Day card to avoid throwaway packaging or skip the paper and card altogether by recording a video message instead.
Save that last-minute panic where it's tempting to buy stuff that you know your partner doesn't really want, and instead put a bit of time and love into an eco-friendly, upcycled gift.
Let’s eat in
Food often plays a big role in romance. From candle-lit dinners in your favourite restaurant to cosying up on the couch with a box of chocs.
This year, with restaurants closed, it’s the perfect opportunity to recreate the magic at home and show off your skills in the kitchen. We love this Lentil Bolognese recipe from Love Food Hate Waste Scotland – recreating the iconic spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp is optional!
My love is like a red reusable rose
Rather than buying cut flowers that only last a few days, opt instead for potted plants that can be enjoyed all year round and help to absorb some carbon. A win, win!
If you happen to be the recipient of a Valentine’s bouquet, your flowers can be recycled alongside garden waste or composted once they’ve seen better days. If you’re feeling creative, you can even have a go at upcycling your posy (and no, we don’t mean potpourri).
It’s been reported that more people in the UK now own a sex toy than own a dishwasher, sadly this does mean that we can expect an influx of non-degradable rabbits running rampant in landfills for decades to come.
Remember, you shouldn’t be throwing electrical in the general waste bin. Companies like Lovehoney and Sexisfaction are happy to recycle any unwanted toys free of charge, even if you didn’t purchase the items from them.
This avoids electrical equipment ending up in landfill, not just wasting the materials they are made from and adding to carbon emissions but also creating the risk of leaking hazardous chemicals which could contaminate soil and water.
Living sustainably doesn’t need to be all digging through bins and kale only health kicks, you can look after the planet and have a good time doing it.
Just remember, you don’t have to wait until Valentine’s every year to try any of these swaps. Being sustainable is something that can be enjoyed every day, not just on the holidays.