When you boil it all down, Valentine’s Day is simply about being with the one you love. With that in mind, we invite you spare your budget and your sanity the effects of yet another shopping-driven holiday and enjoy these simpler, more sustainable ways to say, “I Love You.”
1. Create a memory
As the song says, “It only takes a moment.” And experts agree that giving an experience, not a thing, makes us happier in the long run. Do a little advance scouting for a fantastic view -- city lights, the sunset, the mountains in the distance – then take your valentine there. Bring along a little romantic snack, relax and just savor the moment together.
2. Eat in
Valentine’s Day is one of the most notoriously difficult times to get a dinner reservation, which means every restaurant in town is overbooked and anxious to move your dinner along so the next romantic evening can begin. Skip the stress, set a beautiful table at home, and cook a meal together. You can relax, and spend the kind of time you’d never be able to enjoy anywhere else.
3. Create an edible greeting
Skip the before and after waste that comes from greeting cards and “pen” your sentiments in icing on a cookie or a cupcake, then present it in person – no stamp required!
4. Share the love
Before, after, or instead of celebrating as a couple, share a little love in places where people really need it. Bring Valentine’s Day treats to your local teen or homeless shelter, spend a little time in your local hospital’s children’s ward reading or doing simple crafts, or volunteer at your local animal shelter.
5. Watch a romantic comedy at home
What’s more romantic – waiting in line to see the just-released romance in a crowded theater (during the height of flu season, no less) or curling up on the couch with a bottle of eco-friendly wine some snacks and your significant other to watch a classic romance?
6. Make some music
Not super tech savvy? No worries. These days just about any type of music you want is just an online search away, which means you can create a romantic and highly personalized playlist with ease. You don’t even have to know how to burn the music to a CD – just share it directly online.
7. Say “I Love You” in another tongue
There’s something about hearing someone tell you they love you in a different language that’s irresistible. This little exercise teaches you how to say, “I Love You” in fifty different languages. Practice together and see which languages speak to you!
8. Choose chocolate with care
Valentine’s Day surely rivals Halloween as one of the most chocolate-laden holidays going. And let’s face it, chocolate is an easy, go-to gift that’s hard to resist. But before you grab for the nearest heart-shaped box full, think again. Cocoa farming is associated with some serious ethical and environmental problems. Choose fair-trade chocolate for a truly loving gift.
9. Put it into words
A letter can say what no pre-written card can, and all you need is a piece of paper, a pen, and an envelope. Check in here for tips on saying what you feel.
10. Love yourself
By choice or by chance, not everyone is in a relationship. For those of us going solo, Valentine’s Day can be unbearably annoying, or even depressing. You can ignore the day entirely, or you can devote some time to loving yourself! Treat yourself to a bouquet of organically grown flowers, indulge yourself with a spa treatment, a bit of fair-trade chocolate and the reminder that you don’t have to wait for someone else to make you feel loved.
What ideas can you add to our list?