Show Some Love: 5 Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a holiday with one of the biggest carbon footprints. It’s the second-largest holiday for greeting card sales, not to mention the bonanzas that are the flower and balloon markets. Yet despite how grateful we are to receive these gestures of love every year, many of the traditional Valentine’s Day gifts just aren’t made sustainably, often ending up in landfills by March.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you’re celebrating your first one together or fifty-first, you can still make Valentine’s Day unique for that special someone(s) in your life without having a negative impact on the planet.

Here are a few eco-friendly Valentine’s Day ideas to help you celebrate with love.

Eat local.

Like everything this past year, Valentine’s Day is going to look a little different. But just because you’re ordering in doesn’t mean it has to leave a huge carbon footprint. If you’re picking up a Valentine’s Day dinner for two, order your special meal from a locally owned farm-to-table restaurant. You’ll support local farmers while keeping your impact light. Bonus points if the restaurant uses compostable or reusable to-go packaging!

Craft eco-friendly Valentine’s Day cards with the kids.

Exchanging valentines in class is a time-honored way for children to learn about showing appreciation for their friends. However, since most children are still learning from home, they’re missing out on the tradition this year. Now is the perfect time to step in and fill the gap. You can have your kids create their own cards with recycled paper, or you can buy sustainable cards from a local maker and have your children fill them out. Drop the cards in your neighbors’ mailboxes to show the love on your street, or ask your kids’ teacher if they can help you mail them to the class. Either way, you’re keeping the tradition alive sustainably!

Gift your spouse a plant instead of flowers.

Everyone loves getting flowers from their valentine, but it’s always sad to see them two weeks later going straight into the compost bin. In lieu of a bouquet of cut flowers, how about a houseplant or a succulent? Not only do they stay beautiful for as long as you water them, they’re a natural air filtration system for your home. Celebrate your endless love by gifting your valentine a plant that, with a little bit of love, will keep on living.

Throw a DIY karaoke party.

Okay, this one’s fun whether you have the whole house jumping or it’s just a party of one. All you have to do is go onto YouTube and search “[SONG NAME] karaoke.” There are a TON of awesome karaoke versions of your favorite hits for you to sing online. Crank up the volume on your speakers and start singing along!

Treat yourself.

Of all the Valentine’s Day ideas, we forget this one the most often. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love — for others and for yourself. Real talk, it’s harder to show love for others when we haven’t shown the love for ourselves. Even if you have a family full of valentines this year, take some time to love yourself by practicing some much-needed self-care. It’s the greatest gift we can give ourselves any time of year.