For many it’s a day of love and romance, for some it’s just a Hallmark holiday, while others will use this day as an opportunity to remind us all of the day’s dark and brutal origins. However you personally feel, there is no denying that many couples (and a growing number of singles too!) celebrate Valentine’s Day and that it spells big business and props up the local economy, with the National Retail Federation expecting consumers to spend a record $27.4 billion this year, up 32% from $20.7 billion last year – and this is just in the United States alone!
Now if you are looking to celebrate a sweet Valentine’s Day (why else would you be here?) with your lover, significant other or even with a group of friends without compromising your sustainability values, here are some eco-friendly Valentine’s Day ideas to get you inspired and keep your impact low:
Food and wine
A romantic celebration calls for good food and wine (if you’re of legal age that is). Here are some ideas if that’s what you had in mind:
1. Breakfast in bed. Wake up early and cook a wonderful breakfast for your beloved.
2. Pack a tasty lunch and drop in a handwritten note.
3. Make or buy sweet treats like cupcakes, donuts, candy or macarons and tuck them into your loved one’s lunch box for a nice surprise at work.
4. Organise a picnic and pack some organic wine and tasty nibbles (bulk bought of course!).
5. Prepare a home-cooked meal of your favourite dishes and desserts.
6. Enjoy dinner out at a fine dining restaurant or one you’ve been looking to try and enjoy a delicious meal.
7. Go on a wine tour and enjoy a day out sipping on locally-made wine.
8. Plan a pub-crawl or bar-hop if this is more your style.
9. Dine on a tramcar restaurant– if not Valentine’s Day, when?
10. Enjoy a scenic river cruise complete with romantic dinner.
11. Book a lunch date and come bearing flowers and chocolates since public displays of love and affection are A-OK on this day.
12. Plan a cocktail hour at home, get dressed up for the occasion, make cocktails and enjoy them together.
13. Take a cooking class together.
Rest and relaxation
If a low-key or relaxed Valentine’s Day is what you had in mind, these ideas are for you.
14. Couple’s massage– need we say more?
15. Art workshop– painting, screenprinting, whatever tickles your fancy.
16. Take a pottery class and channel Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore ‘Ghost’ vibes.
17. Cozy up and binge-watch Netflix or your fav docos in pyjamas whilst eating homemade popcorn.
18. Head to the movies. Make sure you’ve booked in to see a romantic movie given the occasion or at the very minimum, choose a film you will both enjoy.
19. Take a road trip to a charming town. If you’re in Australia, we encourage you to travel to bushfire affected towns and support the local communities by spending your dollars there. This post offers plenty of eco-friendly road travel tips.
21. Go glamping. Check out Glamping Hub for super unique accommodation, luxe camping, one-of-a-kind yurt tents and more.
22. Spend the day (or evening) at the beach.
23. Read classic literature together aloud, taking turns by chapter.
If you’re handy and crafty, consider making your gift. Here are some DIY Valentine’s Day gift ideas for you:
24. Writer a letter to your significant other detailing all the reasons you love them.
25. Make a card with items and materials you have on hand. Be creative. You can use old magazines, newspapers, old cards, magazines, catalogues, and even seeds and dry flowers. Avoid conventional glitter because it’s just micro-plastic pollution waiting to happen.
26. Write a heartfelt poem and give to your loved one.
Related Post: 20 DIY Gift Ideas for Thoughtful Gift Givers
27. Bake a love-heart shaped cake or cookies.
28. Grow flowers or herbs and give them as a gift. You can add use popsicle sticks to write love notes on.
29. Pick wild flowers or beautiful weeds near your home to give to your loved one instead of jumping in the car to buy a plastic-wrapped bouquet from a florist.
30. Plant a garden in your backyard or at a community garden if you don’t have a backyard. Buy organic seeds of your favourite fruit and vegetables and sprinkle them in the garden together– and like your love, watch it grow.
Sports, games and physical activities
If your significant other loves sports, playing games or is competitive by nature, check out these ideas:
31. Attend a sporting event.
32. Entertain yourselves with pub trivia and enjoy a meal and beer while you’re at it.
33. Plan a board games night complete with drinks, homemade pizza or food platter.
34. Head down to the local courts for a one-on-one (or team) match. Basketball, tennis, or touch footy, if you and your partner like to play it, go for it.
36. Go snorkelling or scuba diving.
37. Learn to surf or go surfing if you both know how!
38. Work out together. Go for a run, head to the gym, go for a swim or take a fitness class, but the best part of getting fit is doing it together.
39. Head to a theme park or amusement park for fun rides and attractions. If you’re in Melbourne and Sydney, there’s Luna Park. If you’re in Brisbane and Gold Coast, the closest ones are Dream World, Warner Bros Movie World and Wet’n’Wild. If you’re at the Sunshine Coast, there’s Aussie World.
Music, arts and culture
Leaning towards a more refined and cultured Valentine’s Day? These ideas will do the trick:
40. Go to the museum.
41. Head to an arts exhibition.
42. Get tickets to see a musical or play.
43. Ballet or opera anyone?
44. Take a Latin dance class together.
45. Write a song and play it if you’re musically gifted.
46. Head to a theatre restaurant and enjoy the show while having dinner.
47. Attend a comedy show for a good belly laugh and memorable moments.
48. Did you say karaoke? Proceed with caution though. Head to a karaoke night only if you’re certain that your loved one is up for it. Nothing worse for a person than being filled with fear and anxiety hoping not to have to get up and sing in public, especially on a day they are supposed to enjoy!
Looking to get intimate this Valentine’s Day? These ideas will get you in the mood:
49. Wearing sexy ethically-made lingerie with soft tunes playing in the background will get you both going.
50. A skinny-dip in a very secluded part of a private beach or in a hot tub at home if you have one.
51. Take a bath together complete with candles, chocolates and wine.
52. Two words: Strip poker.
And don’t forget to bring your zero waste kit and reusables when heading out, say no to single-use plastic at every opportunity, offset your carbon footprint and choose eco-friendly transport such as trains and hiring an electric vehicle where possible.
Looking for eco-friendly and zero waste gift ideas? This post has you covered.
Have any other eco-friendly and zero waste Valentine’s Day ideas to add to this list? Please share below!
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Feature image credit: Jonathan Borba.