1. Chalk a pavementA fun way to say “I love you” is to write a romantic message in chalk on the pavement of your partner’s home/ driveway. Chalk washes away with rain water and is completely environmentally friendly. You can leave a message in the morning for your loved one to see in the morning or before they return home from work.
2. Homemade cards or E-CardsAccording to card manufacturers, Hallmark’s research, roughly 142 million Valentines cards are exchanged each year. Instead of buying a card to attach to a gift, make your own homemade one. You may save a tree and some money in the process. Another idea is to send an E-card to your valentine. You can find free E-cards at Someecards.com or create and buy one on Zynga.
3. Cook a romantic dinnerOrganic ingredients are becoming increasingly easy to find. Do an online search to find free range butchers and organic produce suppliers and cook a lovely meal with your valentine and enjoy it guilt free! If you’ve ruined the soufflé... visit the Savoy Cabbage, a Cape Town based restaurant that strives to use organic and locally produced ingredients in its cuisine as much as possible.
4. Spend Valentine’s Day in natureOne of the best ways to spend quality time with someone is to go on a distraction free scenic walk or hike. South Africa offers a range of beautiful day trails. To search for day hike trails in your area, visit Linx Africa. If you’re going for a walk, why not pack a picnic? If walking is not your thing that’s fine too! You can have a picnic anywhere, at the beach, at a park or even at home in the garden. Kogel Bay or “Cool Bay” beach is a great spot just around the corner of Gordon’s Bay (on the R44) if you’re looking for a quiet place to have a picnic. There are so many great areas to visit in the Western Cape, it’s difficult to name them all. Support local nature conservation and take pleasure in the beautiful scenery of the local botanical gardens in your area. If you’re in the Cape Town region a great suggestion is Kirstenbosch Gardens. Kirstenbosch hosts a range of activities such as art exhibitions, picnics, concerts, restaurants, shopping, walks and even offers accommodation at the Kirstenbosch Manor Guesthouse. An extra romantic idea for Valentine’s Day is to spend a night camping in seclusion with your loved one. Take along a environmentally friendly solar jar with you on your trip for romantic lighting. If camping seems like too much of a hassle, why not fall asleep gazing at the stars?
5. GiftsInstead of buying imported flowers from your florist, inquire about his/her indigenous flower supply. South Africa is home to a range of exquisite indigenous flowers such as bulbs and orchids that will make for excellent gifting. This way you’ll also be supporting local trade. Another idea is to buy potted flowers rather than cut flowers. Potted flowers last longer and some plants even purify the air in your home. A healthy alternative to a romantic Valentine’s classic is Honest’s organic chocolate. Honest Chocolate started out as a small artisanal chocolate company based in Cape Town. All their chocolate is hand crafted from organic, raw cacao, which is higher in antioxidants, and therefore better for your health. Honest chocolate contains no preservative, additives, emulsifiers, dairy or processed sugar (the chocolate is sweetened with Agave Nectar).Honest chocolates are also packaged in eco friendly paper. There are a range of Honest Chocolate outlets where you can buy your Valentine’s gifts. When searching for Valentine’s gifts, keep fair trade, anti cruelty, and local trade support in mind. The Body Shop offers a range of bath & body products, fragrances, accessories and gifting goods for both men and women that are also environmentally friendly, and produced through fair trade and without animal testing.
We hope that this post has given you some inspiration of what to do this Valentine's Day. We know how difficult it can be to come up with exciting plans each year!