Valentine’s Day can rack up a surprisingly high environmental impact. But thankfully, it’s simple to make a romantic gesture that also shows some love for the planet.

Here are our ideas for an eco-friendly Valentine’s day.

Sustainable flowers

Roses are often the flower of choice for Valentine’s Day, but can come with a high carbon footprint. They’re grown in hotter climates such as Colombia and Kenya; or under artificial heat in Europe, and are then flown in and driven up and down the country to be delivered.

If your heart is set on roses, you could consider donating to an environmental project in Kenya or Colombia alongside your purchase. As an example, The Green Belt Movement is a Kenyan organisation that empowers communities to preserve the environment and improve livelihoods.

Want to move away from roses? You could speak to your local florist to see if they stock British flowers, or opt for a bouquet that contains lots of British greenery alongside a few stems. You can also look into the sustainability credentials of flower delivery services – Bloom and Wild, for example, is a BCorp working to provide ethically and sustainably sourced flowers with minimal packaging. Air dried flowers or a plant are also lovely gifts that last longer.

Give dried flowers or a plant for a gift that lasts longer.

Speak to your local florist to see if they stock sustainable flowers.

Sustainable food

Opt for sustainable ingredients this valentine's day.

Lots of people mark Valentine’s day by having a meal in, or a meal out. Look into sustainable and ethical restaurant options in your area and consider choosing a plant-based meal. If you’re cooking at home, opt for seasonal vegetables and support local businesses when you’re buying ingredients.

If you’re planning to enjoy a glass or two of wine, make it organic. Organic winemakers grow grapes without using artificial pesticides and herbicides. This supports other plants and insects who call the vineyard home and helps protect water supplies from being contaminated. Visit Vintage Roots for organic red, white and sparkling wines along with a good selection of vegan options. 

Sustainable gifts

Want to give something other than flowers? Look for small businesses that do good through their products. If it’s jewellery you are looking for, consider brands that prioritise sustainability and use recycled materials or waste, such as 4Ocean, sellers on Etsy and even Pandora.

Chocolates are another popular valentine’s gift. And they needn’t be plastic wrapped or palm oil filled. It can take a little digging to unearth eco-friendly truffles and bars, and Ethical Consumer is a great resource for checking up on brands’ sustainable credentials. Some of our favourite eco-friendly chocolate brands include Tony’s Chocolonely, Montezuma’s and Divine, as well as smaller sellers like Land or Seed and Bean.

Go for a walk this Valentine's day.

For many people, the gift of time is more important than a physical present. You could buy tickets to an experience, plan a nice walk, or organise a thoughtful date at home.