How to make your Valentine’s day gifts more eco-friendly

Columnist Kirsty-Jo Muddiman suggests ways to celebrate the day of romance without harming the earth – from wild flower seeds to treasure hunts.

By Laura Andrew
Thursday, 6th February 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 17th February 2020, 12:38 pm

Will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year? Whatever your plans, they needn’t cost the Earth.

Traditionally cards, flowers, and chocolates are the order of Valentine’s Day but with a little thought and a little time, it’s possible to come up with a more eco-conscious way to show your love.

Many flowers are shipped from abroad, wrapped up in plastic and destined to last two weeks if you are lucky.

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Bunches of roses on display

Instead of roses and violets, think about giving something a little more sustainable.

A sprinkle of wild-flower seeds between two damp sheets of your favourite newspaper and left to dry under a little pressure (between a tea towel under a stack of books, for example) can be made into a card or heart-shaped confetti.

When planted in the garden, a lovely mix of natural beauty should attract butterflies and bees which will last much longer than two weeks and be a more fitting tribute to your undying love!

Get crafty with your card instead of buying plastic-coated mass-produced versions.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Bunches of different varieties of roses on display at New Covent Garden Flower Market ahead of Valentine's Day on February 13, 2018 in London, England. New Covent Garden market is the largest wholesale fruit, vegetable, and flower market in the United Kingdom, supplying 75% of florists in London. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Why not try using materials which mean something to you?

A beer mat from the pub you met, a leaf from the park where you had your fist picnic or maybe the box of your love’s favourite food?

If you’re stuck for ideas, a treasure hunt can be much more fun and personal than shop-bought sentiment.

Chaucer is believed to be the first to record the association of Valentine’s day with romantic love when he wrote, “For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate”.

A bird box or bird feeder makes a great gift and one that will remind your chosen one of your devotion throughout the years.

It’s exactly the time that birds start to look for a nest too so you might get lucky and see a brood fledge later in the year.

If you’re so inclined, you can personalise your bird box or even make your own.