When we say anti-Valentines Day we don’t mean anti-love. In fact, we’re all for celebrating and appreciating the special relationships we have with those around us. And we get it, for a lot of us, the exchanging of gifts is important and meaningful. What we’re saying is that we need to think deeper about the impact of our purchases and shopping habits. It’s not about limiting our love, and instead, it’s about extending our compassion to the planet, and those living on it.
Rethinking Valentines Day
In a lot of cultures, the exchanging of gifts is a way to display one’s love and affection. While gifts can be a meaningful gesture, our consumerist culture has turned the practice into something that is entirely materialistic. Leading to Valentines Day, we’re bombarded with ads promoting gift ideas that are unethical and environmentally destructive. The truth of the matter is that we’re in no position to ignore the consequence of our daily actions and lifestyle habits on our environment. Making sustainable shopping choices is more important than ever.
A typical Valentines Day gift is diamonds, an industry that is destructive, unethical, and often illegal. We often walk into a jewelry shop, removed fully from the back-story of the item we see in front of us.
Diamonds aren’t the only controversial gifts though. Many of us are unaware that the flower industry is in no shape or form sustainable. Roses, for example, don’t grow in Europe or North America in February, which means they require loads of air miles to get in your hands.
Even a lot of the chocolate we buy is unethical, containing controversial ingredients such as palm oil and dairy. The industry isn’t always fair, and once again, we find ourselves unaware of how these goods arrive at our local shops.
Anti-Valentines Day: Green Alternatives
We’re not just the bearer of bad news. There are green and ethical ways for you to engage with Valentines Day and to celebrate your love. If you absolutely must buy diamonds, do your research, and trace how the diamond ends in the shop. Better yet, opt for second-hand.
Think about swapping flowers for plants instead. They are sustainable and they continue to live and grow in your home. What a wonderful way to celebrate one’s love?
When it comes to chocolate, there are loads of ethical, fair-trade, organic and vegan options out there. Get your hands on some! How about love energy candles for your special someone? Made naturally, with you and the planet in mind. Chocolate tea or natural rose incense sticks are also great gift options. And of course, gifts don’t always have to be material. You can always offer the gift of experience. Go for a nice meal, travel, bake cookies, or attend a show.
Check out our Ethical Gift Guide for more ideas!
Our Anti-Valentines Day doesn’t have to be void of love. Instead, by opting for green and ethical options, we can celebrate by extending our love to all those around us.
Happy Love Day Everyone!