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Be My Eco Valentine

January 31st, 2013

by Hazel Sillver

Hazel Sillver suggests some eco-sound ways to celebrate the big red day....

WEEKEND LOVE SHACKS

Snug hideaways for two:

*Cuddfan, West Wales

This gorgeous barn conversion for two is nestled in the hills above the Aeron Valley, surrounded by meadows and woodland, and just 8 miles from the coast. A wind turbine and ground-source heat pumps provide its power. 

0844 5005 101, underthethatch.co.uk/cudd

*The Edge, Cornwall

A dreamy seaside cabin for two sits on the cliffs above Whitsand Bay. It has been built with sustainably sourced cedar and eco-insulated. Walk barefoot along the beach and fall asleep to the sound of the waves. 

01637 881942, uniquehomestays.com

*Lake District Love Shack, Cumbria

A luxurious eco-friendly cabin for two, in the middle of the Lake District National Park, near Ambleside. The sustainably built shack sits within its own woodland and has views over fields and Lake Windermere. 

01539 441242, lakedistrictloveshack.com

GREEN VALENTINE’S GIFTS

Gorgeous gifts for your beloved (or for yourself, if you’re single):

*Organic chocolate 

The artisan chocolatiers at Coco create vegan, organic chocolate in adorable packaging. Their Swellegant 48 Piece Box (£44.95) is a treasure chest of chocolate, containing painted pralines, coffee truffles, raspberry hearts and chocolate coins. They also make delicious slabs of rose chocolate. 

0131 228 4526, cocochocolate.co.uk

*Eco lingerie & PJs

Slip into something a bit greener... Luva Huva make beautiful lingerie and loungewear by hand in the UK, using ethically sourced, sustainable fabrics (such as organic cotton and bamboo), where possible. Choose from knickers, nighties, tops and loungewear. 

0207 7338 306, luvahuva.co.uk

*In-season flowers

Instead of buying out-of-season imported roses, order scented narcissi by mail order, from the Isles of Scilly. Narcissi bloom in February and will fill a whole room with delicious, sweet scent. Churchtown Farm is a family-run business, growing narcissi in winter and fragrant pinks (Dianthus) in summer. 

01720 422169, scillyflowers.co.uk

ACTIVITIES FOR TWO

Things to do together on Valentine’s Day:

*Ride a tandem bike

Instead of heading out in the car, hop onto a tandem and cycle in unison. Lots of bike hire companies offer tandems and some, such as MSG Bikes on the Sussex coast and JD Tandems in the Yorkshire Dales, specialise in tandem hire (see discovertandeming.co.uk for more info). You can buy a new tandem for around £500 - £4,000, or a second-hand bike for a lot less. 

*Partner yoga

Yes, it does feel a little bit like playing Twister at first... But if you’re both into yoga, doing asanas (poses) together can feel wonderful. You can buy a Partner Yoga DVD (£19.99) from Brighton-based yoga teacher Sevanti at being-in-unity.com or book a private partner yoga lesson with her. 

01273 778400

*Plant a tree together

Give Nature a helping hand by planting a tree. Fig, quince, apple and hazel all symbolise love, but the apple tree is arguably the best: it provides blossom for wildlife and fruit for you; plus there are endless types to suit each situation. For example ‘Herefordshire Russet’ on M26 rootstock (rootstock determines growth) is a self-fertile dessert apple that will reach 2.5-3.5m. If you have a tiny garden, you can buy a Minarette apple, which won’t take up much room because it grows in a column. For advice and to buy, contact Ken Muir:

01255 830181, kenmuir.co.uk

Hazel Sillver is a freelance journalist and a contributor to the Ecologist Green Living section; email: hazel@theecologist.org

Heart tree image courtesy of www.shutterstock.com

 

 

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