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20 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Without Costing the Earth

When Jennifer Lopez sang 'Love Don't Cost a Thing' we nodded in agreement. Love really shouldn't cost you a thing.

In a world built on consumerism and instant gratification, we want to highlight that true love really does go hand-in-hand with sustainability. All you need to do is get your creative juices flowing and voila! - you’ve got the sweetest, eco-friendly date ever.

So here are some tips to celebrate V-day without without hurting your back pocket and the planet.

20 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without Costing the Earth - book date or read poetry

1. Unleash the book geek in you.

If the two of you love books and enjoy reading, perhaps a visit to a library would be a great idea. You can also set up a DIY book reading hub where you bring in some of your favorite books and read together. Or invite him or her to a poetry reading at your place or even at the park - where you could fill the air with endearing and inspiring words over a home cooked meal or thoughtfully-prepared picnic.

2. Let the stars and the skies be your guests.

There’s nothing more romantic than looking at the stars with  someone special and revealing your dreams, fears, hopes and ambitions. Lie down on a blanket, hold hands, and dream together with a bottle of wine, olives, French bread, and dips all waiting to be savoured as much as you savour the moment.

20 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without Costing the Earth - picnics

3. Seal some love notes in a mason jar.

Upcycle a mason jar and turn it into a fabulous ‘treasure chest’. Your partner will love reading those messages and letters from someone really special. Yes, this may be cheesy but stuff like this can really make a heart leap for joy. Sometimes being mushy - yet sincere - is a sign you are able to be vulnerable with your loved one and is  great way to make them feel incredibly special.

4. Catch the sunset or the sunrise.

As with #2 in this list, watching the sunrise or sunset brings a magical quality to your moment, turning everything around you more romantic and unforgettable, making your heart connection stronger than ever.

20 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without Costing the Earth - look at the sky

5. Plan a movie or TV-series binge-watching session.

What's better than being able to cuddle while watching episodes of your favourite TV shows or movies? Grab some of your favorite films or shows - perhaps ones that blend in love stories given it's V-day - munch on some popcorn or potato chips and enjoy a relaxed romantic night in.

6. Spa all you want.

Get ready for some bubble bath, body wash, body scrub, loofah, and foot soak. It’s the best way to pamper each other and become more intimate as the night unfolds. A ‘signature massage’ or even a relaxing back rub can bring the moment to whole new level.

7. Never underestimate the power of ‘secret notes’.

Be creative when sharing how you feel. Feel free to use soap on the mirror, write in the steam in the shower, etc. Or leave a sweet note on his bedroom slipper, on the dresser, underneath his cup of coffee, or anywhere in the house that you know he or she will see first thing in the morning. Is there a better way to start Valentine's Day than finding a love note?

20 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without Costing the Earth - Love Notes

8. Be kids again!

Setting up an epic blanket fort needs no explanation. Just make it cosier, everything softer, and more romantic. Bring in some cups of your favorite tea and some sweet treats to share and enjoy.

9. Volunteer.

Doing some charity works together is far more meaningful than taking him or her on a date. You can visit a hospital, an orphanage, an aged nursing home, a rehab facility, or even raise your hands to help clean up the community.

20 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without Costing the Earth - Volunteer together

10. Bury a time capsule.

Write letters to your future selves, and talk about your hopes for the future then bury it to be dug up again in 5 or 10 years. (Note: This is for the committed lovers. Not to be attempted if you've been dating for a week... unless you want to!)

11. Stay in bed.

Why not stay in bed for an extra half an hour before heading to work and get an intimate moment in? Doing something "naughty" before you have to tend to practical matters of the day can be a way to get Valentine's Day off to a wonderful start - and give your loved one something to reminisce and look forward to for when he or she gets home.

20 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without Costing the Earth

12. Classic: A picture paints a thousand words.

Take a good photo of the two of you and frame it. You don't need to spend lots, just head to the op-shop or thrift shop and you'll find one that's cheap and does the trick. A simple gesture, but meaningful.

13. Go on a road trip.

Spending some quality time with your better half while on a road trip makes the journey more fun and memorable. Conquer the road together as you visit a place that you two have never been to. Some things to see: cascading waterfalls, hidden beaches or even small country towns with an interesting history.

Tip: Don't forget to offset your carbon here.

20 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without Costing the Earth - Go on a road trip

14. Be an instant workout buddy.

Go for a walk, hike, or bike ride. Remember, exercise release endorphins, so you'll get to feel physically great whilst enjoying each other's company in the great outdoors.

15. Give him/her a day off!

Pick up some of your significant other’s chores for the day. Take a load off them and see how happy doing this will make them! This kind gesture will go a long way to reducing stress and it also means freeing up time so that they can enjoy spending the night with you - without worrying about doing their chores!

16. A potted plant over a fancy bouquet.

Consider a potted plant. Not only will this be a gift that your beloved can keep year-round, but they tend to be less expensive than cut flowers or ready-made bouquets which can be wasteful - particularly as cut flowers are not always grown organically.

20 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without Costing the Earth - Pot Plants not Cut Flowers17. Play as much as you want.

Don't feel like heading out but want to do something fun? Try playing board games or online games together. This is a fun inexpensive indoor date. You can also try a Valentine’s “Scavenger Hunt” with some mind-boggling riddles your honey ought to answer to reach the next clue which should eventually lead them to their Valentine's Day gift...

18. Take him/her to an unusual ‘dance floor’.

Download a feel-good, romantic playlist from Spotify, save it on your smartphone, and invite your partner to dance at a romantic hideaway near a local creek or forest, at a riverfront or on ocean shores.

20 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without Costing the Earth - dance the night away

19. Take a picturesque stroll.

Nature tripping while holding hands can be a sweet treat and a memorable escape. You don't have to venture far. You can head to the local park or beach or even just a nearby nature trail.

20. Organise an indoor picnic.

Set up scented candles, blankets, and a good movie, and have an indoors picnic. Much less effort than cooking a fancy meal (think: cured meats, cheese or vegan cheese, stuffed peppers, crackers as picnic food is meant to be fuss-free) and way less expensive than eating out. If you're on a budget and prefer to stay indoors, this is an ideal way to celebrate!

With only a day to go, have you planned your sustainable Valentine's Day? If you like any of these ideas make sure to use them and report back to us by leaving a comment below.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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About the author

Myraine Carluen-Policarpio

Myraine Carluen-Policarpio

Myraine Carluen-Policarpio is a seasoned writer, journalist, editor and researcher who also works as a Tertiary English Professor. When she's not writing for others, she's writing for herself over at her blog, Realities and Realizations.

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