A person wearing an apron chopping vegetables

5 ways to go green this Valentine’s Day

08 Feb 23 2 minute read

Roses are red, violets are blue 

Help save the planet when you say ‘I love you’.

Did you know that Valentine’s Day is the second largest card-giving day of the year after Christmas, with over one billion cards written and given out each year? Then, after just a few days, these cards will be recycled or end up in landfill wasting all of the resources that went into making them in the first place. 

It’s fair to say that Valentine’s Day can be tough on the environment, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  

We’re not saying you shouldn’t do anything to celebrate. We all know Valentine’s Day is a great time to let people we care about know. But there are lots of ways we can do this sustainably and ethically. Read on to find out how.

Wear a pre-loved outfit

Heading out on a date with a friend or other half? Raid your wardrobe and dig out those gems, old and new, that you haven’t worn yet or not worn for a few years. 

Re-wearing your clothes this Valentine’s Day is one of the coolest things you can do to help the environment and the time has come to ditch the idea that re-wearing clothes isn’t trendy.

If you find anything you think you aren’t going to wear and you’re tempted to chuck it out, consider where that garment is going to end up. If you think your relationship with that piece of clothing is over, remember to take it to a second-hand store or thrift it on eBay, Vinted or another pre-loved platform.

Raid your wardrobe and dig out those hardly worn gems to restyle into the perfect Valentine's Day outfit.

A person looking for Valentines Day gifts in a second-hand store

Choose a pre-loved gift

Buying pre-loved items as a gift to give to someone you love has had negative connotations in the past, but now it’s time to throw those out the window.  

Gifting pre-loved is finally losing its stigma and it isn’t just better for the environment - you could save a heap of cash too.  

From cookware to books or refurbished electronics, there are so many treasures you can find if you look in the right places. Shopping second-hand is an easy way to find interesting items while staying on a budget and contributing to a great cause.  

If that doesn’t take your fancy, try an online marketplace. Etsy, eBay and Vinted are all great places to find pre-loved and vintage items. 

Gift a living plant to help the planet

Did you know that readily available bouquets aren’t sustainable? Most flowers are imported from other countries and have been grown with insecticides, not to mention the air miles too that contribute to the climate emergency.  

But that doesn’t mean you can’t gift a something beautiful without love this year. Instead, you could opt for a living plant that will keep on giving.  

You could even choose a plant that helps to clear the air in your partner or friend’s home. Ivy, peace lilies, boston ferns and snake plants are popular choices for this and are readily available.

Two people cooking a Valentines Day meal

Go for waste-free dining this year

36 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions could be prevented by saving food from our bins in UK homes.  

Preventing food from going in the bin is key to protecting the planet and reducing the amount of food you waste will help you save money this year too. 

Give the gift of quality time instead

Just like the other occasions we celebrate throughout the year, Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to be about consuming more than you usually would.  

There are so many ways to show the one you love that you care about them – without spending money.  

Why not gift a token of love this year? This could be in the form of planning quality time with your loved one; like cooking them a meal, watching your favourite film or TV series together or heading out into the countryside for a walk.  

Finally, remember that after all, Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love and this year, we don’t need to generate waste. Do you have any sustainable Valentine’s Day ideas? If so, send us a message on the Zero Waste Scotland Facebook or Instagram pages.  

Lots of love, 

Zero Waste Scotland.  

There are so many ways to show the one you love that you care about them - without spending money - this Valentine's Day.