VALENTINE'S Day. Some people loathe it but millions of us are expected to celebrate love and show the special people in our lives how much we care for them this year.

But what about our love for the planet? Can we change our Valentine’s Day shopping habits to be more sustainable?

Let’s start with the flowers. Well, I can tell you, and I am sure it won’t come as a surprise to you, that red roses in the middle of the British winter are not sustainable or natural.

Nor those some other flowers that supermarkets stock this time of the year and are labelled 'seasonal' (they will most likely be imported from a hot country) and come wrapped in plastic.

Unfortunately, these flowers carry a lot of hidden costs for the environment. They have high carbon footprints for a gift that’s only enjoyed for a few days.

Instead, you could look for a local grower who produces seasonal, British flowers.

You could also opt for potted plants - they last a long time and can potentially be planted in the garden and enjoyed for an even longer time.

And then there is the chocolate! Keep it sweet with fairtrade chocolate!

Fairtrade chocolate guarantees that the cocoa was sourced in a responsible way for the farmers and the environment without harming wildlife or contributing to deforestation.

You can always go one step further and buy vegan chocolate - the market is now inundated with delicious dairy-free options.

Cards! You can make your own unique design which is guaranteed to be treasured. Or if you must buy one, go for the glitter-free option that is recyclable and one which isn’t wrapped in plastic.

If you are giving a gift this Valentine’s Day that needs to be wrapped, look for wrapping paper that is made purely from paper and be sure to recycle it after the gift has been opened.

Or skip the wrapping paper! You can use newspaper, fabric, glass jars — get creative and aim for zero waste!

And finally there is the meal which, let's face it, can be very expensive on February 14. Why not choose a local restaurant that uses local and in-season ingredients? Or, better, treat your loved one with a home-cooked meal which can also help you cut your own food waste.

So happy Valentine’s everyone! Let’s love the planet just as much as we love each other.

Columnist Em Burnip runs a sustainable wedding and event company.