Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and if you are looking for romantic ways to be wildly environmentally friendly, then why not show some vegan love. Going cruelty-free doesn’t mean alienating romantic partners, in fact it can be fun, adventurous, and a truly memorable occasion.
Research shows that a vegan lifestyle manages a far lower carbon, water, and ecological footprint than that of meat and fish eaters. It shows that food production is responsible for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, mostly from cows producing methane. If everyone switched to a plant-based diet, the decrease of emissions from food production would be 28 percent, which is equivalent to the impact of India achieving carbon neutrality. Veganism really is the perfect soil-mate.
So, this February 14, let’s create a love story with these very vegan Valentine ways.
Support Local Chocolatiers
Valentine’s Day without chocolate is like an ocean without water, impossibly tragic. While more and more major brands are launching vegan chocolates, it’s best to support ethical and sustainable vegan brands. In the UAE, we are lucky to have a few options when it comes to succulent vegan treats. Coco Yogo is a raw, vegan local brand, dripping in richness with jars of cheesecake and smooth ice cream. And with vegan croissants, delicious cookies, and cakes, Vegan Life has a sustainable source of happiness – all in the form of its desserts.
Ayesha Al- Aidaroos founded Sinless Bakery to push the boundaries on traditional baking, and she has – with her menu of sugar-free, diabetes-friendly, vegan and allergy aware options. There are breads, crackers, jams, cookies, and cakes all too good to be without sin. In true Emirati style, try a box of dark chocolate covered dates from Mirzam Chocolates.
Or fill your basket with their ethical chocolate bars of figs and cinnamon, dates, and fennel, and even roses – Mirzam is truly unique. This local brand not only hand makes its chocolate, but they also support local artists on all of their packaging. Now that makes our heart skip a beat.
Giving Vegan Gifts
Long gone are the days of love letters, drying flowers in books, and handmade cards; but the art of gift giving on Valentine’s Day is still a long-standing tradition. However, this era is known more for waste than for poetry, but it doesn’t have to be. A bouquet of flowers used to have its charm, but a flower growing kit, well that says ‘long-term’ commitment. Pot & Bloom have three different flower growing kits and we are head over heels for them: Dahlia, Marigold, and Zinnia – three ways to make your balcony bloom with colour this February.
And nothing is more romantic than a box of macarons, but a set of vegan macarons from Rushita, the eggless baker says, mon amour. And since food remains a timeless love language, wouldn’t a vegan meal plan for your significant other be the ultimate expression. The Vegains Co. is a local meal plan company that focuses on a healthy and fit life, the founder is an avid animal rescuer and campaigner who believes that everyone should be living a healthy, cruelty free life – no matter how busy they may be.
Spending time with your significant other is an essential Valentine’s Day practise, but it doesn’t need to be a fancy dinner out with six-inch taper candles and a bottle of bubbly. Most five-star restaurants are not serving up vegan delights or worrying about their carbon footprint, but it doesn’t mean that a vegan date isn’t classy. A cheese platter from Grawtitude by candlelight is still a worthy occasion to dress up. Their cheese boards feature a selection of vegan cheeses, fresh and dry fruits and nuts displayed on a beautiful wooden board.
From staying in to going out, Cinema Akil is an outdoor cinema in Alserkal Avenue that brings independent films from across the world, with a spotlight on regional directors and pictures.
If a movie isn’t the type of quality time you are looking for, perhaps a cup of coffee in the desert is. One Degree café has its winter pop up set under the stars. Quiet conversation amongst the beautiful sand dune backdrop is an intimate kind of evening. The winter cafe is about 35 minutes outside of Dubai and you can find it down the Al Ain road (E66).
Valentine’s Dinner Dates
Variety is the spice of life, and there is no better night to be spicy than on a Valentine’s date. When you and your partner experience new flavours together, it can only lead to good things especially when they are vegan. Lowe, which has sustainability running through it core from sourcing local produce to offering an array of plant-based options, is located in the beautiful grounds of Al Barari.
Lowe celebrates incredible flavours from all that blossoms and blooms while you can sit in their serene garden setting. For a more Asian dining experience, head over to the hip Zabeel House restaurant Lah Lah where noodles, miso soup and Sakura vegan maki come together to make all your dining dreams come true.
Make this Valentine’s Day extra special by nurturing your emotional and physical heart with healthy, tasty vegan foods and eco-friendly rituals. Your planet loving ways will make every other couple simply green with envy.