You need to have an eco-friendly Valentine’s Day because, in Canada, it ranks right up there with Christmas for excessive spending and waste, plus the damage to trees from sending out cards.

A feature image for a blog post about having an eco-friendly Valentine's Day.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. With Canadians becoming ever more environmentally conscious, the search for ways to show eco-friendly expressions of devotion is on the rise.

Use the ideas below to make your day of love easier on the environment, which results in better health for all of us.

Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day Cards

Just there are alternate ways to send Christmas cards; you can find more eco-friendly ways to express your devotion on Valentine’s Day.

With all of the electronic means at our disposal, it’s easy to switch from paper cards to a social media message or email to tell someone how much you care. And, you can jazz it up with images or animation to make it appealing.

You can also skip the card altogether and go with a nice gesture, eco-friendly gift, or other activity and avoid adding any paper products to the festivities. We’ll look at those ideas next.

Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day Gifts

A Valentine’s Day gesture of affection doesn’t have to be wasteful or bad for the environment. Use these ideas to show your love with an eco-friendly gift:

Eco-Friendly Chocolate

If you’re going to give or indulge in chocolate, look for companies that are Fair Trade certified and use sustainable practices to produce their product.

Also, keep an eye on the packaging and go with products that aren’t packaged in plastic or anything excessive and unnecessary.

Eco-Friendly Jewelry

Jewelry often figures in as part of the celebration of St. Valentine, but you need to be careful about what you purchase to make it part of an eco-friendly plan.

Look for companies that ethically source gemstones, use recycled metals, or commit to zero-waste programs. You can also consider buying or giving vintage jewelry to reuse what is already on the market.

Give a Plant Instead of Flowers

Instead of giving flowers that are not good for the environment and shipped long distances, consider giving a nice plant like a succulent in a pretty pot.

You can give any houseplant, really, and it will last a lot longer than flowers that wilt and die in a few days. A pretty pot can also be reused if the plant dies or outgrows it.

Give Baked Goods

If you like to bake, it’s an excellent idea for a homemade and eco-friendly gift. Make heart-shaped cookies or a favorite dessert and present it in a pretty reusable basket.

This activity is also a nice idea to do with kids. They can share the cookies at school instead of giving paper Valentines to their classmates.

Use Alternative Gift Wrap

Speaking of how you present your gift, keep in mind that there are gift wrap ideas that are eco-friendly. Presenting your offering doesn’t have to be a drain on the planet’s resources.

As mentioned above, you could use a pretty reusable basket to put your gift in. Other ideas include using a colorful scarf, hand-decorated craft paper, or a bright tea towel. Decorating craft paper is also a very kid-friendly activity for school or home.

Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day Activities

As with gift-giving, there are also eco-friendly activities you can use as a present or shared time on Valentine’s Day to celebrate with your beloved.

Try the following ideas to cut down on your environmental footprint:

Eat at a Sustainable Restaurant or Cook at Home

Do a search in your local area for restaurants that use sustainable methods or engage in programs such as composting or buying local.

If you don’t find anything you like, you can always prepare a meal at home. It could be a surprise for your significant other or something you do together. It can even be a family affair.

Enjoy a Staycation

Taking long trips is expensive, and they can be hard on the environment, too. Why not take a staycation for your celebration and explore your local area.

Many people don’t realize how little they know about their home community or how many interesting things there are to do until they start exploring.

Enjoy a New Class or Activity Together

A fun thing to do for Valentine’s is to take a new class or try something new together. Again, this is also a fun thing to do as a family if you have children.

Look for eco-friendly activities like learning a new dance, going sliding on cardboard, taking a nature walk or hike, horseback riding, or setting up eco-friendly birdfeeders.

As you can see, it’s not difficult to enjoy Valentine’s Day with less waste with your partner, family, youth group, or classroom. Use your imagination and tweak the ideas above to suit your circumstances.

8 thoughts on “Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day”

  1. Oh, I love this post on eco-friendly Valentine’s Day and the alternatives that are available to leave a smaller carbon footprint. I hate the waste associated with many celebrations, especially seeing that there are better choices that one can make. 

    I have wrapped presents in a tea towel in the past, and I have also used a pretty basket, which was very well received and appreciated. I love your suggestions of heart-shaped cookies and choosing a restaurant that follows sustainable practices. 

    This is a great reminder that we can all be more eco-friendly, and especially with special events.

    1. I’m glad you like the suggestions. Yes, there are so many little things we can do to be eco-friendlier. And in the long run, they add up to bigger wins for the environment and the planet.

  2. Whenever I think of Valentine’s Day (or any other major holiday, for that matter), I have always thought about the unabashed commercialization.  What have I never, ever thought about? The damage to our Earth. I love your suggestions here. I love the thought of giving a live plant instead of cut flowers and having a romantic dinner at home (the kids can visit Grandma). I also think it would be great to ditch the cards and wrapping paper altogether.  After all, we just use them once and throw them away. Thanks for this eye-opening article.

    1. Yes, I agree about the cards and wrapping paper. They just aren’t necessary and they create such a lot of waste. There are so many eco-friendly ways to celebrate special occasions and holidays. We just don’t need to create so much trash anymore.

  3. Using eco-friendly wrappers to cover gifts with can be a little challenging for someone who makes use of their resources already. Trying to minimize your footprint is difficult if most of the items you own are already reclaimed and repurposed. It is a very good way to save on costs and keep a smaller footprint. The children love to find ways to repurpose whatever is at hand and like to be creative. This will help the creativity bug make a comeback in the younger generations.


    1. Yes, I agree. We’re headed back to needing to be more creative and not always needing everything to be new, without any thought to the consequences. Life will be very different for coming generations.

  4. Oh, thank you for providing great tips to celebrate an eco-friendly Valentine 🙂 Now I know where should I buy my chocolate and what activity that I want to do. I think doing bike riding in a nearby park with my loved ones will be a good idea. I love to do horse-riding, but I can’t find any place in my area who provides this service 🙁

    1. Yes, there are many eco-friendly and affordable things to do to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The environment doesn’t have to suffer for our entertainment at all.

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