Valentine's Day is fast approaching and it can be an incredibly wasteful time of year. Love birds around the world spent £20 billion for Valentine’s in 2019, with much of that being spent on plastic wrapped chocolates, tacky trinkets and cut flowers. Did you know that 90% of roses are imported for Valentines creating a huge amount of emissions, and in 2019 alone, £261 million was spent on clothing and lingerie for Valentine’s.*
I’m always one for promoting memories and experiences over things. But with this bloody pandemic still going strong, that certainly chucks a few of my go to Valentines ideas out the window. Normally I would be all for a day trip to the zoo, trying out a new dance or art class together, searching Facebook events for local gigs or other cool events in the local area.
Well, we can’t do any of those things this February 14th now can we. Or can we?
Here's a few ideas for creating Valentine’s Day memories that even COVID-19 can’t stop.
For the animal lover
While zoos may not be able to open right now, some of them are bringing the zoo to us! ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Chester Zoo and I'm sure many others, have been doing live zoo days on their Facebook page. You get closer to the animals and unique behind the scenes images you wouldn’t get from going to the zoo in real life.
Zoos are really struggling right now as they are receiving no income, but all their animals still need feeding and their vital conservation projects are still going ahead. Why not make a donation or adopt an animal for your loved one and then surprise them with it after you watch one of their adorable Facebook lives together.
As it’s my local zoo, I’m linking to Whipsnade’s donation page but just search the zoo (or wildlife charity of your choice): https://donate.zsl.org/donations/
For the drink lover
Why not organise a wine tasting at home. You could surprise them with a wine club membership too! You can replace wine with whisky, gin or whatever your other half’s favourite tipple is.
Or you could try a cocktail night. Research beforehand and make sure you have all the ingredients to hand then channel your inner Tom Cruise and get shaking!
For the food lover
You could cook a gourmet meal together, research recipes beforehand to find something you’ll both love. Or if you want to spoil them, you could be their personal chef for the night and cook up a treat.
For the aspiring dancer
Now I mentioned taking a class together and how that’s out the window. But is it? Well, no it isn’t because the vast majority of businesses have moved their services to the virtual space and that includes dance teachers. You can find pretty much any style of dance online; salsa, bachata, lindy hop, jazz, ballroom… anything! For something sexy, you could try tango classes, there’s a wealth of workshops and private classes online. Or if you fancy going it alone, just search video tutorials online and see where it leads.
For the creative
The same goes for art classes. Just search in your eco friendly search engine (try Ecosia or OceanHero) and see what takes your fancy. You’ll find anything from drawing and painting to knitting and sewing, jewellery making and everything in between.
For the dreamer
It’s been tough for adventurers and dreamers this past year. Why not crack open a bottle and sit down to dream the night away by writing a 10 year bucket list together. Where have you always wanted to go, what have you dreamed of seeing, what skills have you always wanted to learn? Make some plans, put it on paper and hold each other accountable!
For the child at heart
Why not plan a games night. Do you have board games stashed away somewhere? Dig them out. Swot up on your card games. You could play a game of DIY bowling in the hall. If you have space, how about hide and seek? If you have a Nintendo wii, get active and have some well-natured (hopefully not too competitive) fun! Or…. you could go down the drinking game route if that’s your thing. Just no plastic cups please! :-)
For the outdoor lover
If the weather is kind to us, how about camping and stargazing in your garden! We don’t have to go away to have an adventure. You could go all out and cook dinner on a campfire if you can.
For the museum buff
So we can’t go to a museum in the flesh, but many of them are doing virtual tours and events. The beauty is, you may be able to visit a museum anywhere in the world from the comfort of your living room. Just search online and see what you can find. Here’s a few from around the world to get you started: https://www.smartertravel.com/virtual-tours-live-streams/
For the eco conscious
Hopefully that’s given you a few ideas. If you want to give a physical gift though, I have a wealth of eco-friendly products on the Vida Eco Shop website: https://www.vidaecoshop.com/collections/gifts
I’d love to hear from you. Let me know your stay at home Valentine’s plans below.
* DS Smith