What's love got to do with it? (+ win €10 voucher)

Valentines day is around the corner.

A day to express your feelings to the person you love. It's sweet and romantic.

And totally over commercialised.

So how did it all get started? Well some dude named Valentine was beheaded on the 14th of February and the catholic church made him a saint. Later on in the UK Chaucer wrote a poem about Valentines and by the 17th century it had become a full blown custom for lovers to give each other handwritten love notes on this day. Then with the industrial revolution, when anything handmade became industrialised, this love custom became a lucrative business.

Love is beautiful and worthy of celebration.

It is necessary however to rethink how we do this so we can love without harming our planet.

Time for some facts:

- In the US alone 151 million cards are sold to celebrate Valentines day.

That's a huge amount of paper, ink and glitter and a vast amount of this get wasted instead of recycled.

- Chocolate box packaging take up 42.4% to 8.5% of the total weight of the box and are often difficult to recycle because of the plastic window in a cardboard box.

Not great for our planet.

Some more statistics:

- US consumers spent $5.8 billion on jewellery on February 14th.

- 32 million Brits spent £1.45 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts in 2020.

Those are huge amounts of money that might be better distributed to benefit businesses AND our planet.

There's where you come in :) You are going to do it differently this year.

How, you say? Well, being an independent maker and supporter of ethical small brands, I have some ideas :) You can give a gift, you can make or bake a meal, or you can go do something together, but now you can do it with a full heart and a clear conscience :)

Let's start with the Victorian custom of the love notes.

You can take some time to write your special person a lovely heart-warming letter or card. Of course on recycled handmade

paper! It will be loved and cherished for many years to come. These are very cute. Also love them with flower seeds!

Whether you are a single valentine or not, a lovely journal is always a good gift! This one is made from recycled material.

Moving on to the chocolates! Chocolactica makes delicious plant-based chocolates, which are so good! (btw that's my ceramics those lovely treats are served on :)

If you want to bring flowers you don't have to go crazy with big bunches of red roses.

A few stems of whatever is in season (tulips) will be wonderful. Or an organic plant for your living room or garden. No green fingers? Donate a tree for instance with Treesforall.

In these times we can't go out to a restaurant. So spend some time dressing up and setting a beautiful table with handmade ceramics at home. Then go and get take away from your favourite place! If you are in Haarlem like me, you would go to vegan restaurant Mama Gaia - it's delicious!

One thing that I think would be super lovely, with your lover or with a pal, is to do something together. Yes I know, you can't do much these days but you can buy a gift certificate that will help businesses who depend on that income get trough this time. You know, it will be something to look forward to together because this will also pass.

For instance: Amanda hosts ayurvedic cooking workshops which I can't wait to attend. But there are many workshops to chose from, chances are there's something you would like to do, art, photography even ice bath workshops. Still working up the courage to start doing that!

Whatever you chose to do, if you do it this way and not the pre-programmed way your money will make a difference! Have a great Valentines day!!

I want this post to get attention so I will raffle a €10 gift certificate for Katharina & Bear on Valentines day. All you need to do is leave a comment below post and share it with everyone you know :) Together we can make a difference! Love, Karin