Show Some (Sustainable) Local Love!

Valentine's Day is a day for celebrating love. In recent years, the "celebration industry" has helped turn Valentine's Day into a day that creates extravagant amounts of waste and carbon emissions. Every year, the holiday creates over 2.5 billion pounds of waste with an estimated 35 million additional tons in carbon emissions, just to produce enough useless items for consumers to buy as single-use "I love you's." All that waste contributes to a host of global-scale problems. We don't love that!

Wouldn't it be better for everyone if we could tell the people in our lives that we love them with little to no impact on the environment? There are ways to do just that.

Sustainable Valentine's Day Heart

First, if you plan to do any shopping, shop local and buy Irish! Ireland spends about  €200 million on Valentine's Day alone. Now imagine if all that money went to local shops and sustainable Irish businesses instead of multinational corporations. For every euro that goes into the coffers of multinational corporations, only about three cents stays in Ireland, as opposed to local businesses where approximately sixty cent of every euro stays in Ireland. That's a huge difference. Supporting local businesses also decreases the carbon emissions associated with transportation, reduces packaging across the supply chain, and reduces the number of products that need to be produced and in turn, disposed of.

If you can't buy local, another way to reduce your impact is to make the gifts you give as sustainable as possible. Instead of plastic based cards, try buying recycled cards instead of standard ones. Or buy cards made by local artists that your loved ones can display for long after the holiday.

Other ways to celebrate more sustainably might include activities instead of single-use gifts. Buy some locally grown, organic produce and cook a meal together! There are plenty of organic Irish growers that could use some extra love on Valentine's Day, a day that has been hyper commercialised. Staying in and creating a delicious meal together avoids the waste of buying unnecessary items and is a great way to spend quality time together. You could also plan a heart-healthy activity like a romantic stroll through a local park or tackle a more challenging trail. Getting out in nature is great for your health and overall wellbeing!

Show your love for the environment by choosing to celebrate more sustainably. Put out bird feed to help keep our feathered friends healthy and happy or plant some flowers that will attract birds and pollinators to your yard. Plant a tree in honor of your loved one or go on a litter picking expedition to clean up your favourite parks or trails.

However you decide to celebrate this lovey-dovey day, we hope you find ways to show your love for the environment and your local businesses, as well.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thank you