Ten ethical and sustainable ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day

fairtrade rosesValentine’s Day will soon be celebrated with cards, flowers, chocolates, wine, jewellery, perfume, lingerie and expensive restaurant meals.

With toxic pesticides, child labour, conflict diamonds, chemical fragrances and huge carbon dioxide emissions, these gifts might speak of romance to your partner, but do they speak of love for the environment and all the people living on this planet?

There are many more ethical, sustainable and green ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

-) Make your own card, send an ecard or support a local artist who hand makes cards from recycled materials.organic chocolate

-) Opt for organic or biodynamic wine instead of drinking pesticide-laden drinks. Buy English wine to reduce your carbon footprint from http://www.englishorganicwine.co.uk/.

-) Buy local, organic and seasonal flowers instead of red roses. Alternatively, plant something that will last a lifetime for your sweetheart such as a rosebush or tree.

seasonal local produce-) Give fairtrade, organic chocolate. Try http://www.chocaid.com. All their fair trade organic chocolate is made in Switzerland and a cut of your money goes to a Hunger Relief Project of your choice.

-) Buy conflict-free diamonds http://www.stepheneinhorn.co.uk and fair trade silver jewellery. silverchilli.com/ Better still, rent a copy of ‘Blood Diamond’ to really understand why this is so important.

-) Give organic, ‘peace’ silk or hemp lingerie for your lover instead of pesticide-sprayed cotton or non biodegradable polyester. enamore.co.ukCandle light

-) Forget chemically-laden, toxic perfume. Create your own sensuous fragrances using organic essential oils.

-) Save energy and spend the evening by romantic candlelight. Use soya or beeswax candles instead of petroleum based ones brighterblessings.co.uk

-) Anyone can BUY a meal – source local, organic, seasonal produce and add the ingredient of love to a meal especially created for the man or woman of your dreams.

blood diamonds-) The greenest way of all is to admit that Valentine’s Day is an exercise in consumerism designed to benefit no one (and certainly not the environment) but the manufacturers and retailers. Mr Green and I don’t need a particular day to tell or show one another how much we care; we do it everyday!