zero waste Valentine’s Day

Filed in Blog by on January 12, 2010 7 Comments
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Rubbish free romance ideas for a zero waste Valentine's Day

Rubbish free romance ideas for a zero waste Valentine's Day

Christmas has not long passed and now Cupid is firing up his bow ready to bring some good old fashioned loving to the earth on Valentine’s Day.

Now Mr Green and I, being terribly romantic and all that, don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day: EVERY day is an excuse to say I love you in this house! However, loving the planet and combining that with your love for each other is the way to a zero waste future and I’m here to help!

Flowers wrapped in cellophane and flown thousands of miles, chocolates sprayed with pesticides, presented in plastic and involving trafficked children, trees chopped down to make cards – not exactly great for the eco credentials is it?

Here are some ideas for rubbish free romance and I want to hear yours in the comments below!

Make a date

Have an experience instead of buying more stuff – go and watch a movie, sit infront of an open fire in a country pub, wrap up warm and take a walk hand in hand or have a meal out.


Time to get out the glue and scissors and make your own masterpiece. Forget cellophane wrapped, canned verses that are make you squirm, make up your own love poem, telling your significant other what exactly you love about them.

If you can’t bear the thought of getting arty, then a plantable card from Eco Hip might be the answer.


Ok, I admit it – most of us love an excuse to indulge in chocolate. But what’s a zero waste warrior to do? Most chocolate comes in brittle plastic trays, in composite wrapping or swathed in cellophane.

Cocoa Loco is a small family firm who produce handmade organic products with the watchwords Re use, reduce and recycle at the forefront of their business. Their packaging consists of tissue paper and cardboard boxes which can be reused or recycled and biodegradable cellophane which can be put in your compost bin.

Astonishingly the amount of waste going to landfill each week from Cocoa Loco is less than a standard domestic dustbin full. So put your money where your mouth is and indulge in guilt free pleasures.


This is one of my favourite presents! Give each other an IOU – make it naughty or nice, but make it landfill free. Little Miss Green promised me a massage for Christmas which was a wonderful, thoughtful and much appreciated gift.

Eat in

Get out the candles, send the kids to bed early and feed each other by romantic, flickering light. You can control the amount of waste you create if you’re in charge of preparations, or do as one of our readers did last year and eat fish and chips out of newspaper!

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day this year?

This post is part of the APLS Carnival. The topic, hosted by Lisa over at Retro Housewife goes green is ‘Greening Valentine’s Day’.
Be sure to check it out on 19th January to see all the fabulous ideas from across the globe!

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (7)

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  1. One of my favorite dinner ideas is to “eat pink and red”. My friend’s mom used to do it for the whole family (and green on St Patricks day). Salmon, pink rice, tomato salad, strawberry mousse for the end – you get the idea.

    We don’t exchange material gifts either, but going out for a date or buying a treat to eat is always fun.

  2. LJayne says:

    Am loving the plantable cards from EcoHip and those chocolates from CocoaLoco are just wonderful. This is what I love about this site, you do all the legwork for me (shame on me!)

    With 3 small children we often stay in on Valentines. Restaurants often only jack up their prices anyway for the same food! We usually eat as a family so it is a treat to eat by ourselves later and we often save a favourite lamb in red wine sauce dish for special occasions such as this.

    We normally do cards and small gifts like chocolate or candles so this year I will definitely make sure I source these properly. I’ve got a month after all!

  3. Mrs Green says:

    @Jen Clean Bin: Hey Jen, loving the idea of eating pink and red. Strawberry mouse would go down a storm with LMG!

    @LJayne: Keep your eyes peeled then Lesley, I’ll be running a competition soon to win a set of plantable cards 🙂 Have fun sourcing chocolates and candles 🙂

  4. @Jen, how do you make pink rice?

    We have kept V-day simple for years. Granted, burying someone on that day (and a break-up between us the year prior) pretty much killed the romance from that day. I think it’s more for the kids at this point, but we keep it to their daycare party.

  5. Mrs Green says:

    @Robbie @ Going Green Mama: Hi Robbie, great to see you; sorry to hear about your associations with Valentine’s Day; that must be really hard, but keeping it simple is great – we do nothing at all 😀

  6. Rudi Affolter says:

    Why not get the beloved a Good Gift from the “Good Gifts” catalogue? Flowers? Protect part of a bluebell wood? Or help preserve a forest? Or feed a needy child for a few months instead of an expensive meal in an expensive restaurant. Their online catalogue teems with ideas from £5 to the-sky-is-the-limit. And save yourself all that guilt. And help save the planet at the same time.

  7. Mrs Green says:

    @Rudi Affolter: hello Rudi; we’ve used that catalogue a few times in the past; there are some great ideas in there – thanks for the reminder!

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