Whether you’re spending the day with a loved one or treating yourself to a nice day with a friend, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and we think any notable tradition at the moment is a good excuse to make it an extra special day. Falling on a Sunday this year, we’ve got all day to celebrate so we’ve compiled a list of our top tips and ideas to make a lockdown Valentines Day slightly more memorable whilst creating zero waste.

What does zero waste actually mean? The short answer: to send nothing to landfill! The slightly longer answer: working towards the long-term goal of a circular economy with the intention of having a positive impact on the planet. This can include anything from preventing waste from being produced, reducing excess waste to finding everyday alternatives that can be reused. 

Valentine's Day can produce so much excess waste. A box of chocolates has lots of additional packaging or out of season red roses being shipped over from overseas creating a huge carbon footprint. There are so many great gift alternatives out there supporting local artisans producing close to zero waste to accompany a fun day spent with a friend or loved one.

Fresh Air!

It’s time to change it up from your usual daily walk, head out to somewhere brand new or you haven’t visited in a while and make a big deal of it! That means wearing your favourite outfit, packing some great snacks for the journey and bringing a reusable cup with a hot coffee (or maybe even a cocktail...  Or two!). Please note - the gift of time (and great conversation) is also waste free and a long walk definitely calls for a great meal afterwards… 

Make A Meal Of It

Not very long lasting but definitely very tasty, why not cook a lovely dinner for two and bake some sweet treats for dessert? Make a meal of it and shop local to find some fresh, organic ingredients and dig out your favourite plates, cutlery and decorations from the back of your cupboard to create a tablescape that even your favourite restaurant will envy. Leftovers kept in reusable tupperware will also mean this is the zero waste gift that keeps on giving.

Plants & Flowers

We would definitely suggest looking out for locally grown and in-season flowers when making the tricky decision of choosing which bunch of beautiful blooms to go for, minimising carbon footprint. Our other green suggestions include dried flowers, adding some indoor decoration with a healthy green plant or even taking your gift back to the roots (literally!) with bulbs and seeds ready for a summer treat if you have access to an outdoor space.

Wrapped with love (and recycled materials)

For any presents you might have already bought, have a look at gift wrapping with existing materials in your house! Using a page from your favourite magazine or newspaper, leftover embossed wallpaper or even a neglected vintage scarf - the possibilities are endless and the best thing is you can use them over and over again!

At BEEN London, we combine innovation with local skills and heritage to create thoughtful products designed with functionality and durability in mind. Beyond using only recycled materials, you may notice that our bags consist of only square and rectangular panels - this produces close to no waste at all. Every piece is made entirely by hand in one of the last remaining East London leather workshops, packaged by Londoners with learning disabilities and on average has a carbon footprint 10 times smaller than a high street equivalent. ‘Waste’ is only waste if no one uses it and through imagination and innovation, BEEN London gives used materials a second life.