Show the world some love

This year make the planet your Valentine on Feb 14th. You will love these great ideas to transform your day of romance from red to green!

Show the world some love

February 14th is Valentine's Day - here's what it costs beyond the £££

Traditional Valentine gifts include flowers and chocolates; we’re not suggesting you swap these for jute bags and cauliflowers but perhaps we can think more about where they come from to ensure the gifts we share with loved ones don’t harm the planet too.

The majority of roses sold on Valentine’s day come from Kenya and it’s a scary fact that a single rose stem needs 10 litres of water to grow. Kenya is a country with very little water, so using it for flowers that we’ll bin after a few days is less than ideal.

Interestingly Kenyan roses have a smaller carbon footprint than Dutch roses, because of the need for heated greenhouses to grow them in. 12,000 Kenyan roses creates 6,000 kg of CO2, while the equivalent number grown in a Dutch hothouse creates 35,000 kg of CO2.

Then there is the transportation. Flowers are flown over to the UK so they stay fresh on arrival and all that air travel comes with a carbon footprint to match, not to mention refrigerated trucks to transport them once they get here.

Similarly, chocolate and wine comes from overseas and the food miles add up. Not to mention the ethical concerns around fair pay for cocoa growers and the use of child labour.

It’s not sounding very romantic.

Love can still win the day

Love, they say, makes the world go round. And we’re all for that.

So let’s do Valentine’s Day differently this year. With all the love and less of the waste and CO2.

Buy UK grown flowers for a smaller carbon footprint, and opt for seasonal varieties that don’t need a greenhouse to reach full bloom. Or, plant some bulbs that will pop up and surprise your loved one this year and every year to come, could they spell out LOVE? Too cheesy? Maybe!

Fairtrade chocolate is still being flown in, but at least the growers are getting a living wage. Or swap out chocolate for a locally crafted cupcake – there are some stunning creations out there now.

UK vineyards are improving year on year, and you can enjoy a glass of bubbly to match that from France with a smaller carbon footprint to make you feel doubly good!

Oh and, if you go out for dinner and find that romance has diminished your appetite, ask to take home leftovers to save on food waste, and you get to enjoy some tasty food later too.

DIY inspiration

Say I love you with a homemade gift: here are some links to further inspiration…

A whooping 32 ideas in one place – click here to read them all.

And double up to 70 ideas here.

If you plan to woo your loved one with a home cooked meal for Valentine’s day these vegetarian recipes from the BBC Good Food archive could be just the inspiration you need.