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On Valentine’s Day, love is in the air, but so are a lot of emissions and waste. A recent YouGov survey reveals that one-third of Britons (33%) plan a romantic celebration. In 2023, men who participated splurged an average of £97, while women showered their loved ones with gifts worth around £64. This translates to an abundance of red roses, plastic-wrapped chocolates, and single-use decorations, leaving a hefty carbon footprint on our planet. But fear not, eco-conscious lovebirds! Here at Bywaters, we’ll guide you through a romantic and sustainable Valentine’s Day, proving that love and the planet can thrive in harmony.

Blooming Love Sustainably

On Valentine’s Day alone, the UK imports over 570 tonnes of roses, generating a substantial carbon footprint due solely to their transportation. Compounding this environmental cost, many arrive wrapped in single use plastic destined for landfills. To celebrate sustainably, consider selecting locally-grown, long-lasting plants over imported roses. This conscious choice minimises plastic waste and carbon emissions. Should you still receive flowers, remember their potential for a second life by composting them and enriching the soil.

Be creative

Unleash your creativity and craft a romantic gifts and that truly speaks to your heart. There are endless possibilities!

DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

The second busiest day for sending cards is Valentine’s Day, with millions purchased annually, but most end up in the landfill. Shop-bought cards often come wrapped in plastic, adding to the problem. This year, consider the environment! Make your own card with recycled materials, or send a heartfelt email or text message to express your love on Valentine’s Day.

Sweet Treats & Sustainable Eats for Valentine’s Day

Instead of splurging at a fancy restaurant or buying chocolates, why not whip up delicious treats at home? Reducing your carbon footprint can be sweet and sustainable! Choose locally sourced ingredients whenever possible to minimize transportation emissions and support hardworking farmers. Dive into the vibrant world of farmers markets, or local grocery shops offering fresh, local produce. Remember, careful meal planning helps prevent unnecessary grocery purchases that contribute to food waste.

The UK waste 9.5 million tonnes of food waste. – Surely we can do better than that! If you make food, check out our article on 6 ways to reduce food waste.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Support businesses that champion sustainability

If you do want to go to a restaurant or buy gifts this Valentine’s Day, Consider supporting businesses dedicated to minimizing waste, like Silo. This innovative restaurant uses every part of their ingredients, achieving zero waste and implementing a robust recycling program. Explore other eco-conscious restaurants, local farmers markets, or shops offering recycled or upcycled gifts!

Buy second-hand

Explore the treasures of second-hand shops and vendors! Giving pre-loved gifts not only breathes new life into existing items, but also saves resources compared to buying new. It reduces the demand for raw materials like cotton and metal, minimizing the environmental impact of mining, processing, and transportation. For example Luxe collective is a online shop gives you the chance to buy luxury goods and sell luxury good if your relationship doesn’t go to well…

Do nothing

It’s amusing to say this, but refraining from participating in any Valentine’s Day traditions is probably the best thing you can do for our planet. It reduces overall consumption of goods, and prevents emissions being generated benefiting the planet. Remember reduce is at the top of the waste hierarchy.

Meaningful & Sustainable Valentine’s Day

The most important aspect of Valentine’s Day isn’t material things, but spending quality time with the people you love. Put away your phones, disconnect from technology, and truly be present in the moment. Share stories, laugh together, and show your appreciation for each other through genuine gestures and kind words.
By making sustainable choices, we can celebrate love and care for the planet simultaneously. So ditch the wasteful traditions and embrace a Valentine’s Day that’s kind to your loved ones and the environment.


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