Okay, so we’re not real proponents of the Hallmark-and-Hollywood version of Valentine’s Day, but we do appreciate the opportunity each year to think about love and romance in a bigger, more holistic sense. And this of course includes loving the earth!
We’ve tailored this list to those of us celebrating Valentine’s Day on our own: to love ourselves and the planet; to find a bit of joy; and a bit of meaning. However, you could easily take any of these ideas and celebrate with a friend, lover, child or another loved one. Some even work remotely!
Here our top ten ideas for an earth-friendly Valentine’s 2021...
1. Watch a romantic movie
As previously mentioned, we don’t really buy the glossy version of romance. But we do believe that there is an incredible amount of romance in the natural world, in believing in something bigger than yourself, in seeing possibilities in the future and yes, in going above and beyond to show the people you love that you care about them.
If you’re in the mood for a little interpersonal romance, may we suggest the following? Please note that some of these are sexy, some are subtitled, and not all have “happy endings.” Look them up for yourself before choosing!
- Y Tu Mama Tambien
- Love, Simon
- Portrait of a Lady on Fire
- Waiting to Exhale
- Four Weddings and a Funeral
- Edward Scissorhands
- Harold and Maude
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- Stranger Than Fiction
- Monsoon Wedding
- Dirty Dancing
- Punchdrunk Love
Not feeling that couple vibe? Here are some films that most wouldn’t describe as “romantic,” but we think possess real romance and beauty in a more general sense. Again, check them out for yourself before choosing — some include violence, tragedy or other troubling elements.
- Into the Wild
- Fight Club
- Kings of Summer
- The Sweet Hereafter
- Spirited Away
- Life is Beautiful
- Big Fish
- The Motorcycle Diaries
Movies are a wonderful way to connect with loved ones who you can’t physically be with right now, thanks to Teleparty on Netflix, and Watch Party on Prime.
2. Don’t miss the excuse to eat candy
Sure, romance might not be defined by a box of chocolates, but we are sure never going to pass up an excuse to eat delicious candy! The best part is that it’s easy, these days, to find zero waste candy options, with bulk stores popping up all over.
Our favourites, by far, are the delightful confections created by Sweetsmith Candy Co. right in nearby Strathmore, AB. Sweetsmith creates peanut brittles, a variety of other brittles, toffees, and other crunchy candies that are sooooo tasty! All are gluten- and egg-free, and there are vegetarian options in the mix, too. They even make a variety of sugar-free options, sweetened with isomalt (they are just as tasty as the options with sugar!).
We sell Sweetsmith Candy in the store and through our Mobile Refillery, and their bulk candy is 20% off (yes, really) until February 15, 2021.
Not local to Calgary? You can find Sweetsmith candies in both our Snack Attack! and Cozy Winter curated kits — great gifts for someone you love, or yourself.
3. Home spa!
A home spa is never a bad idea, and it works equally well on your own or with a roommate, partner, friend or a kid, if they're into it! Pamper yourself with ideas from our Home Facial Guide or our instructions on crafting a Ritual Bath!
4. Spend time in nature
We’d argue that nature is the most romantic thing of all. Whether you take yourself for a walk in the woods to feed the birds; visit an ice waterfall to take some photos; use the opportunity to get out for a physically distanced walk with someone you love; or head out at night for some star-gazing, you’ll never regret spending time in nature.
If you’re in Calgary, you can fill your birdseed needs in our shoppe or through the Mobile Refillery.
Star-gazing? Check out this dark sky map for the best spots!
5. Write a love letter
That’s right, what’s more romantic than a love letter?! But don’t forget that you can think outside the box a little bit. Who needs that love letter the most? Your grandpa? Your cousin who lives alone? Your friend who just had their first baby? Your child? Get creative and pour your heart out. They’ll likely cherish it for years to come.
6. Take a public art tour
If you’re like us, you’re sad that art galleries are closed (or just don’t feel so safe). But if you live near a city, there will be lots of public art to check out! Your city might even offer a self-guided tour of local installations, offering information on the artwork and artists as you move along at your own pace (and socially distanced!).
Cities in Canada that offer self-guided public art tours include Abbotsford, Brampton, Burlington, Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Prince Albert, Thunder Bay, Toronto and Vancouver.
7. Read some poetry
It might sound like a tired suggestion, but when was the last time you read some really good poetry? It’s amazing how rejuvenating and enriching it can be! Here are some of our favourite poets — mostly romantic, though not all:
Not in the mood to read? Check out a beautiful spoken word piece by Andrea Gibson or this timeless piece by Andrea Dorfman entitled "How to Be Alone."
8. Buy yourself flowers — or plant some!
This is another one that is more traditional but can be really lovely. If you have a local eco-conscious florist, why not grab yourselfa bouquet to brighten your space? Or, have one delivered to someone you love. We personally love dried arrangements from peaseblossoms, which we stock in the store, because they last indefinitely!
Alternatively, now is a great time to pick up some seeds and get some flowers started indoors! What better way to spend Valentine's Day than to get your hands dirty?
9. Order from a local vegan or veg-centered restaurant
Extend the love to your local business owners and treat yourself to a delicious meal that you didn’t have to cook! To get the maximum amount of love out of this endeavour, we suggest:
- Ordering directly from the establishment instead of through a food delivery app, so the restaurant doesn’t take the hit of the app’s fees
- Ordering vegan, vegetarian and/or locally grown goodies (pamper the earth, pamper the animals, pamper your body!)
10. Take some sexy photos of yourself!
You heard us correctly! Who cares if you plan to show them to anyone specific? This is about feeling yourself. Why not take the time to set up some lights or a backdrop, get yourself feeling gorgeous, and spend time snapping some beautiful photos of yourself? It’s amazing how good it can feel to see yourself looking fabulous through the lens of a camera. If you’ve got a good camera, you’re all set (don’t forget about lighting, though!). Otherwise, here are some tips for getting good shots with your phone.