The most romantic day of the year is almost upon us, and, from gifts to restaurant reservations, many of us will be making our plans over the weekend.
Whether you are celebrating Valentines, Galentines, or any other version of the big day, many of the more climate and environmentally-conscious of us will be keen to make Valentine’s Day 2023 as sustainable as possible.
From advice on wrapping paper to disposing of food waste, WRAP’s Recycle Now and Love Food Hate Waste campaigns are offering some top tips on making your Valentine’s plans as environmentally friendly as possible.
Here’s what you need to know.
Top tips for a sustainable Valentine’s Day
If left unchecked, Valentine’s Day can end up being quite a wasteful event. From oversupplying food to discarding unwanted flowers, the holiday can end up creating a lot of waste.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can help make your big day more sustainable.
Minimise food waste
If you’re planning to make your partner a lavish home-cooked romantic meal, then it’s a good idea to freeze any leftovers and save them for another day rather than letting them go to waste.
Not only does this help your day prove more sustainable, but it also provides you with an extra meal at another time, meaning you can relive your valentines dinner all over again – but remember to defrost your food properly before consuming it!
Wrap says: ‘Each year in the UK, approximately 6.6 million tonnes of food go to waste from our homes over the twelve months. So, if you are planning a sumptuous Valentine’s feast do not forget about your freezer!’
Anything you don’t want to freeze can also be recycled if your local authority provides it.
Don’t just throw away your flowers
While flowers are a wonderfully traditional romantic gift, the temptation is just to throw them away after they have stopped looking their best.
However, remember that you can always add them to your garden waste or compost them. If you are feeling particularly creative, you can even try drying them out and use them around your home as decoration or potpourri.
Recycle any packaging
Any cardboard packaging from gifts you receive can be recycled. Remember to flatten any cardboard boxes to create more room in the recycling. However, be careful about the rules for your recycling, as anything with glitter or foil on it may not be suitable.
Recycle any paper or plastic
If you receive any gifts in a cellophane wrapping (like flowers), this is not widely recycled at kerbside.
However, WRAP recommends using the Recycling Locator to see if your council accepts it.
WRAP also says: ‘Over 5,000 supermarkets across the UK now accept plastics bags and wrapping, which you can take this type of plastic to for recycling. For any wrapping paper, as long as it’s not foil or covered in glitter, and passes the ‘scrunch test’, it can be recycled at your kerbside.’
Look at recycling any cans or tins
Whether you’re using chopped tomatoes in your all-important pasta sauce or breaking out a cheeky premixed cocktail can while you are cooking, steel and aluminium food and drink cans can be recycled by most authorities.
The same is also true of any tin foil you have left over, as long as it’s relatively clean.
Choose sustainable travel
If you’re heading out for drinks or dinner, try to choose a sustainable mode of travel, whether it’s public transport or even going for a good ol’ romantic walk rather than driving.
An added bonus of leaving the car at home is that an extra glass (or two) of prosecco can be enjoyed by both you and your partner without any guilt about one of your having to be on driving duties.
Look for sustainable gifts
Whether you are choosing a gift hamper or a pamper kit, shop around for the most sustainable version of whatever you plan to buy.
While it might cost a little extra in places, you can often source gorgeous environmentally-friendly gifts from independent stores, both online and in person.
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