It’s often criticised as a commercial festival of hearts, flowers and chocolate driven by big businesses to fill their coffers, but celebrating Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about spending a fortune on a dozen imported roses to show someone you care.
Taking an ethical approach to the day – we like to call it ecodating – opens up a whole new world of possibilities and memories to treasure. At People Tree we’ve been having a brainstorm about alternative ways to spend the day, with pastimes and activities that reflect our love for the world we live in, as well as the people around us. Read on for our favourite three…
Love is a walk in the park
If you’re loved up, what better way of marking this red letter date in the year than by getting outside, breathing in the fresh air and recharging your batteries together?
If the weather’s kind, an ecodate in a gorgeous park with flowers poking through with the promise of Spring creates memories to treasure for life. London has some incredible parks, but we wanted to hark back to some of our digital marketing team’s Northern roots with this particular ecodate and recommend anyone up North takes a trip to Mowbray Park in Sunderland, Tyne & Wear.
Mowbray Park has a romance all of its own as one of the oldest parks in North East England and is a fabulous green space in the heart of the city. Bordered by a calming lake and the Winter Gardens, and featuring a bandstand, art works and more greenery than you could shake a stick at, it’s been restored to its Victorian glory in recent years. Be sure to check out the statue of Lewis Carroll’s Walrus and take a tip from him while you’re with the one you love: “The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things.”
Victorian couples loved taking a romantic walk together, so why not take a leaf out of their book and spend some quality time together in the park, leaving your 21st Century stresses behind? A Valentine’s picnic, made up with tasty treats from Riverford Organic Food will make your ecodate extra special.
We love their selection of finger food that can be ordered from the farm shop section, from fantastic artisan breads, homemade hummus and olives, to squash and caramelised garlic tart, plus the most mouthwatering hazelnut crunch chocolate truffles. Well, it is Valentine’s Day – and if you’re going to eat chocolate you may as well have something a little special.
Plus, you can tuck in with knowledge that everything has been organically and sustainably produced. Bonus!
Dinner at The Duke of Cambridge pub
It’s traditional to enjoy a romantic dinner date on Valentine’s Day, but you can turn yours into an ecodate if you find the right venue.
Back to dear old London town, and we’re off to The Duke of Cambridge pub in Islington, North London, for ecodate number two. The Duke of Cambridge is Britain’s first and only certified organic pub. Appropriately enough for a Valentine’s ecodate, it’s a venue that was founded on love – business founder Geetie Singh married organic food entrepreneur Guy Watson and this fantastic pub is the perfect marriage of their skills.
People Tree are no strangers to The Duke of Cambridge and we don’t need Valentine’s Day as an excuse to pop down! Everything on the daily-changing a la carte menu is certified organic, but the sustainable theme doesn’t stop there; The Duke of Cambridge’s drinks selection is carefully selected for its provenance too with beers from small, independent craft brewers, organic wines, small batch produced spirits and mixers bursting with natural ingredients, so you can toast each other ethically.
Finish off with one of the superb coffees – they’re made from Fairtrade Ethiopian Harrah beans sourced from a social enterprise run by Ethiopian refugees.
Good for the soul, good for the planet
Valentine’s Day is all about sharing the love, romantic, platonic and everything inbetween! So if a day with the man or woman of your dreams isn’t on the cards, then a get together with your best friends for a glass of wine and a catch up is just as good for the soul – and it can be good for the planet too.
There are plenty of organic and biodynamic wines on the supermarket shelves these days, or check out your local independent off-licence’s selection. If you choose a biodynamic bottle, you’re selecting a wine that’s been made with love and a recognition of the interconnected nature of life. Biodynamic wine producers say their products are more ‘vibrant’ tasting too.
Turning your girlie Valentine’s ecodate into a pampering session won’t cost the earth, either. We love these organic facemasks from Kiehl’s and Origins, or create your own with organic ingredients. Marie Claire magazine has some great recipes to try.
What are your Valentine’s Day plans and will they have an ethical spin? We’d love to hear them!
Remember, we’re offering a free tee this Valentine’s Day to anyone spending over £100 with us; it’s our way of giving back a little bit of love to you beautiful people.
Love People Tree x
*The Love Heart Tee offer ends Monday 15th February 2016 at 11.30pm GMT. Love Heart Tee must be added to basket and discount code added at the checkout. Discount automatically applied at checkout. Cannot be used in conjunction with any promotion code.
These are web only offers and are not valid on gift vouchers. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotion code. Not valid on past purchases. Monday 15th February 2016 at 11.30pm GMT.