Valentines Day – a day to express your love for the important people in your life. But this often comes at the expense of our planet. Plastic roses, cut flowers, teddy bears, perfume, jewellery.. the list of things that are consumed on this day are endless. So this year we’re giving you some ideas that will allow you to love your valentine as well as love the planet. Here are some ideas we’ve come up with for an alternative, greener Valentine’s day.
- Buy an indigenous plant instead of cut flowers. Cut flowers only last a week, are grown with pesticides, and can be air freighted. Even indigenous flowers such as Protea have no guarantees that they have not been illegally cut down in nature reserves.
- Give your beloved an experience voucher – a picnic for two on the beach, a home-made meal, doing the dishes for a week, a movie night at home and they get to choose the movie (with your promise not to complain once during the film!)
- Get creative – make a card out of old cards or magazines. Putting time and effort into a gift is more romantic than just spending lots of money.
- Write a poem
- Donate money to a charity close to your Valentine’s heart. It could be an environmental organisation like Project 90 or an animal charity such as the SPCA or a local hospital or childrens’ home.
- Adopt an animal for your Valentime. SANCCOB offer penguin adoptions. Obviously this is a virtual adoption, you don’t get to take the bird home with you!
- Adopt a donkey at the Donkey Sanctuary (this is what I am hoping for!)
- Donate a tree with Green Pop
- If you do buy your valentine a gift, choose a locally produced gifts and be creative with using less or no wrapping paper
- If you’re going to be drinking champagne, choose a locally produced and organic brand such as Avondale which is MCC certified.
- Does your valentine like chocolate? If she’s a girl the answer is almost certainly! Make sure that the chocolate you buy is organic and/or Fairtrade. A good one to buy is Woolworths Organic Dark Chocolate.
- Give a free hug to a stranger – watch this inspiring video of one man who started the Free Hugs Campaign
Valentine’s Day is also a time to spend time together and reflect on your relationship. Here are some ideas from Company of Experts to guide you. As you interview your valentine, listen for what touches you most, reminds you of why you are Valentines and offers you inspiration for your future together.
- What are two or three most inspiring or rewarding experiences of our time together? Please tell me one of the stories.
- What first attracted you to me? (qualities, behaviours, potential, etc.)
- What do you value most about me now?
- How has our relationship helped or benefited you the most?
- What challenges, disappointments or roadblocks have we successfully addressed together?
- What three things do you commit to do to increase the strength and vitality of our relationship?