Every year on February 14th, cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts are exchanged between loved ones and secret admirers. There are a number of versions of the history of Valentine's Day, and its patron saint.
* Some experts state that it originated from St Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14th 269 A.D. Legend says he left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, and had signed 'from your Valentine'. * Valentine's Day started during the Roman Empire. In Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno, the queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The feast of Lupercalia followed the day after. During this time, boys and girls didn't mix. Although one of the customs was name drawing. During February 14th, the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Every young man would draw a girl's name from the jar, and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl he had chosen. More often than not, they would end up falling in love and marrying. Saint Valentine had served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius had trouble finding soldiers and believed it was because young men didn't want to leave their loved ones or families, so he banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine still married couples in secret. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14th to honour St. Valentine.
* In the 19th century, printed valentine cards were on sale and became very popular. In 1825 the post office handled more than 200,000 letters on Valentines Day. * British people spend around £34 million on flowers to say 'I love you' (Source: Flowers and Plants Association). * Approximately 1 billion cards are sent every year. * In America, Valentine's day is the second most celebrated day of the year (after Christmas day). (Source: Kids Growth.com) * Over a million people give fresh flowers (Source: Flowers and Plants Association). * Worldwide, over 50 million roses are traded on this one-day alone. (Source: Flowers and Plants Association).How to be Green this Valentine's Day Here are a few suggestions to win someone's heart this Valentine's Day. Less waste in the landfill, less harmful and the environment! And here a little tip for the men - it makes you look more thoughtful and considerate too! A winner with the ladies!
* Send an e-card to your loved one (or yourself!). There are lots of websites that let you send e-cards for free. Try some of these links: My Fun CardsBHF Yahoo
* Save on packaging, and by an 'experience' like a spa day Sanctuary .
* If you buy chocolates then buy them from Fair Trade. Traid
* Name a star after your loved one, try out Stars
* For a quirky gift you could buy two goats for an African Orphan's Dowry Good gifts
* The WWF have some great gifts for Valentine's Day, ranging from a heart trinket box, to chocolate foam bath (no you can't eat it!). WWF
* Buy a plant instead of flowers, it lasts longer! If you do buy flowers though, make sure they get up in the compost bin, rather than the kitchen bin!
* All cards can be recycled either through your kerbside collection or the local bring bank.
Valentines Day - The Most Romantic Day of the Year?
Its that time of the year again. The shops are stocked with lots of red and pink fluffy gifts and cards for lovers to give to each other on Valentines Day. But what do you do if you want to be romantic but in a more sustainable way? Well we have some suggestions below. You will win your loved one over with some of these ideas because it also shows you are being thoughtful and considerate about the environment too!
There are many pretty cards in the shops, but producing them uses a lot of resources. And around 24 million Valentine's cards are sent in the UK each year. But there are alternatives. Why not send an e-card? There are many free e-card websites on the Internet. If you have time, then make your own card. This adds a personal touch, and you can use lots of materials that you have lying around the house. You can be as creative as you want. The team at Junkk.com usually make their own Valentines cards, and it goes down a treat with loved ones. If you end up buying a card, then check to see if it is made from recycled paper. Here are a few suggestions:
Find a wide selection at My Fun Cards:
Devil Cards has some great cards too:
Making your own cards
Check this out for card making:
This website will give you inspiration for making cards:
Buying a Card
Check this site out for eco friendly cards with unique designs:
Eco Maximus provides greeting cards and other gifts made from elephant dung!
Sending a gift to a loved one doesn't have to be bad for the environment. Here are a number of alternative gifts ideas that may inspire you. Just remember to use minimal packaging and if you are wrapping something up, use recycled paper and string, or even newspaper! If you do want to send flowers, why not buy some flowers locally and get them wrapped in paper, and hand deliver them yourself? This is better for the environment than getting a company to deliver them for you. If you still want to buy chocolates then why not try out organic chocolates, and watch out for the excess packaging. If you're any good in the kitchen you could make your own!
Send your love a tree at the Tree to my Door website:
WWF again have some lovely gift ideas this year:
How about giving an acre of rainforest to your loved one?
Check out the chocolate truffle recipe here:
Short on money? Then send Virtual Cyber Hugs on this website:
Virtual Cyber Hugs
If that really doesn't inspire you, and you still want to send flowers and chocolates then check these websites out:
A lot of Chocolate
Interflora now does a range of plant gifts:
Planning on bending down on one knee? Well you have probably given some thought about the ring! (We hope so anyway!) Diamonds, a girl's best friend or silver and gold jewellery have a considerable impact on the environment. Consider some of these alternatives:
Based in America, but will ship to the UK, (although you need to think of the environmental aspects of shipping) check out this website that do eco rings:
Alternatively think of buying an antique ring, or ask close family if there is a 'special ring' that has sentimental value that can be used. Finally, good luck!
Most of all have a happy Valentine's Day!