image of heart shaped crafts with text reading Sustainable Valentine's Day

Sustainable Love on Valentine's Day

Whether you love or hate Valentine's Day, I think we can all agree that like all other holidays in our culture, it's gotten out of control in the hands of consumerism, and consequently, the burden on our planet.

Did you know that in the US alone, consumers are expected to spend a whopping $26 billion on Valentine's Day this year? That number is so staggering it's hard to wrap your head around, so for comparison sake, that's more than 3x's what the White House is spending on cleaning up communities used for nuclear weapons production. 

Celebrity gif. Rapper Amine holds two hands up to his head and opens them in an exploding gesture as a cartoon mushroom cloud emerges from the top of his head.


While expressing love and appreciation for the loved ones in our life is important, this number really makes you wonder: are we celebrating love or consumerism? And knowing the toll that consumerism takes on our environment, doesn't that sour the gesture, even just a little bit? As if that's not enough, the societal pressure of Valentine's Day, whether you're in a relationship or not, can take a toll on our mental health!

Taking all this into consideration, I think it's high time we shift our focus back to genuine expressions of love and appreciation, which, honestly, shouldn't cost a thing!


Without further ado, here are some suggestions on how to meaningfully celebrate Valentine's Day without bowing to consumerism:

a happy couple on a hike in the snow

As a Couple

  1. Cook a Fancy Homemade Meal Together: Go out on a limb and try something just a little out of your comfort zone. Cooking can be a fun and intimate experience. Set the table, light some candles, and voila – you have a romantic dinner for two.

  2. Be a Local Tourist or Take a Hike: Spend a day exploring a nearby town or conservation area. Be cute: hold hands, share a treat, take photos. It's about spending time together and living in the moment. 

  3. Recreate Your First Date: Relive those butterflies by recreating your first date. It's a fun way to reminisce and see how far you've come as a couple.

  4. Private Tasting for Two: Whether it's wine, cheese, chips or chocolate bars, set up a tasting session at home. Whether you're serious or silly about it, I guarantee you'll have fun.

  5. Homemade Gifts: Get cute and creative with DIY gifts like a scrapbook of memories, a jar of date night ideas, or a list of reasons why you love each other. Nothing says love like literally saying love.

a family making valentine's day crafts
As a Family

  1. Heart-Shaped Food: Kickstart the day with heart-shaped pancakes (with sprinkles if you're feeling kind) or try out homemade heart-shaped pizzas for dinner. What about a giant heart-shaped cookie? Or get crazy and do all three. It is Valentine's Day after all!

  2. Valentine's Themed Crafting: Consult the gold mine of Pinterest for some craft inspiration. From homemade cards to decorations, crafting is a fun way to spend quality time together. Skip the glitter for extra eco-points.

  3. Family Movie Night: Snuggle up and watch a movie that celebrates love in all its forms.Check out this list of Valentine's Day movies for families.

  4. Love Lists: Just like our earlier suggestion, make a list of all the things you love about your kids, or some fun memories you've had this past year. It's a heartfelt way to show your appreciation and love, and highlight how special they are.

  5. Quality Time Together: Spend time doing an activity that each family member loves. Even if it's an excruciating hour looking at Pokemon cards, your kid(s) will feel so special getting your undivided attention. 


Self care with a bath and good book 

With Yourself

Celebrating Valentine's Day by focusing on your own self-love and care is seriously badass. Afterall, Valentine's Day is about love in all its forms, and self-love is the most important of all. 

Here are five thoughts on relaxing, recharging and honouring your awesome self this Valentine's Day: 

  1. Soak in the Tub: Think all the basics, then top it up with some lux. Warm bath, with fancy stuff (ie. bubbles, dried lavender or rose petals, bath salt, essential oils), light some candles, and turn on the music. Level up your bath with a hair or face mask, and you got yourself some serious me time.

  2. Take Yourself on a Date: Take yourself out somewhere that makes you happy and fills your bucket. Restaurant? Art Gallery? Theatre? Baskin Robbins? Find your special place and enjoy it.

  3. Reach Out: Honestly - when was the last time you called your mom/aunt/grandma? Or, you know that friend you had in high school that you often think about but never see anymore? Reach out. Say hi or even just a few choice emoji's to let them know you're thinking of them. You'll boost your own mood as well as theirs. 

  4. Engage in a Hobby or Try Something New: Spend some time doing something you love or try out that new activity you've been considering. Whether it's painting, cooking, gardening, writing, or reading, engaging in hobbies can be incredibly fulfilling and a great way to express self-love.

  5. Treat Yourself: Go ahead, indulge in that guilty pleasure, guilt-free. It's your night, baby! Trashy reality show? Ice cream obsession? Own it. If it's legal and makes you happy - live it up.  

    Friends playing boardgames

    With Your Friends

    Our friends are often our nearest and dearest, and Valentine's Day is a great time to celebrate that love too! Here are five fun and meaningful ideas: 

    1. Have a Potluck Dinner: Invite your friends over for a potluck dinner. Get extra festive and make it themed – perhaps everyone brings a dish that's meaningful to them or tells a story. Have a round of toasts, expressing your appreciation for each other or reminiscing some fun memories.

    2. Movie Night: Is there a buddies movie that represents your group? For my friends it's "Empire Records". Find the flick that warms your hearts, the one you've seen 100x's, can sing along with, or the one that brings back fun memories.

    3. Adventure Time: Plan an adventure, whether it's something new like axe throwing, or a fan favourite like bowling, just get out there, have some fun, and make some memories.

    4. Boardgames: Have you been to a game store recently? Board games have come a loooong way since Scrabble and Monopoly. Break out the snacks and bond over a night of tension, drama, cooperation, or backstabbing competitiveness!

    5. Night out on the town: Paint the town red - it is valentine's day after all! Look for a comedy club, local theatre, or karaoke. 

    Valentine's Day is more than just gifts and grand gestures. Our relationships with ourselves, our families, and our partners are not about the amount of money we spent, or the stuff we purchase. It's about love, laughter, and creating memories with those who matter most. 

    Now that's something worth celebrating!

    Back to blog

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.