Make it a love that lasts this valentines day 

For many brands and businesses, Valentine’s Day is a time to ramp up the sales all in the name of love and romance. Three smiling people wearing red dresses and steel capped boots, pictured standing between rows of secondhand clothes. The middle person is holding a heart which reads "Happy Valentine's Day".

We do things differently here at Wasties, and V-Day is no exception. We’re tossing aside consumerism and marking it as a day to spread love, gratitude, and affection towards not only the people we care about, but Papatūānuku as well. 

We’ve put together some ideas on how you can do both, reducing your impact on the planet and creating special moments that will stay in the memory bank for years to come. 

Make memories, not waste

  • Cook a meal or bake some treats – make it waste-free by saving leftovers for the following day and composting scraps. 
  • Create an activity jar – write down all the activities you’ve been wanting to do, so next time you have a free night or weekend, all you need to do is pull one out and go enjoy.
  • Get nostalgic – browse through old photos and create a digital photo album together.
  • Sign up to a local community project – tree planting, pest trapping, supporting local youth – whatever sparks interest for you both.
  • Gaze up at the stars – our dark skies are precious in Aotearoa New Zealand, so take an evening to appreciate them. Apps like Night Sky and Sky View will help you identify constellations and planets.

Give a gift that’s good for the planet

  • Cards – most cards have plastic on the cover and are unable to be recycled. Instead, make a paper card and write a personalised poem inside. Who can throw something like that out?
  • If it’s broke, fix it – if your loved one has something they love but it’s broken, fix it for them yourself, find a local repairer or bring it to one of our Repair Revolution events
  • Buy second hand first – the most sustainable item is the one that already exists, so shop second hand first if you’re going for a gift.
  • Plants, not flowers – rather than a bunch of red roses destined for the bin, how about a living rose bush, a love fern, a string of hearts or a peace lily?
  • Ethical chocolate – aah chocolate, the holy grail of sweet treats. But do you know how ethical your block of cacao actually is? Check out Ethically Kate’s latest blog for what brands you should turn to for good. 
  • Gift wrap – ditch the roll of plastic-coated wrapping paper and look for alternatives you already have at home – try a scarf, newspaper, magazine pages or recycled gift bags.