As Valentine’s Day approaches, we see the stores filled with cards and gifts, aimed at tempting consumers to buy more ‘things’ for their loved ones. Now I’m not against the idea of showing our loved ones how much we care by giving them a gift, but I do think it’s important to consider the impact that gift will have on the environment. So, with that in mind, I thought I would share some sustainable Valentine’s Day gift ideas with you and demonstrate that we can show our loved ones and our planet how much we care.
But first, some facts – Did you know that Valentine’s Day is the second-largest celebration day for giving out cards after Christmas? In the UK alone, more than 25 million Valentine’s cards are sent each year, many of which can be recycled unless they have glitter on them. Unfortunately lots do end up in landfill sites. According to BusinessWaste.co.uk, along with gifts, meals and more, an extra 9 million kilos of CO2 are produced due to the waste it creates. Therefore, let’s take a look at some suggested unique gift ideas that your loved ones and the environment will appreciate.
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Flowers vs Plants
Flowers (namely roses) are a very popular choice on Valentine’s Day but depending where you live in the world, the environmental cost is huge. If you live in Europe for example, most of the roses are imported from as far away as Kenya, which creates a considerably large carbon footprint. Why not try gifting one of the following instead;
- Potted plants or succulents in eco-friendly planters
- Heart-shaped succulents for added romance
- Or a terrarium kit for a DIY project like this below from Etsy.
Jewellery is also a popular choice for a gift on Valentine’s Day. But before buying a nice shiney piece of jewellery online or from a chain of jewellers, consider handmade options made by artisans like these from Etsy;
Eco-Friendly Spa and Wellness Experiences
Another popular gift is often a pamper kit for ‘him’ or ‘her’ or a trip to a spa for the day. Try an organic brand this year and pamper your loved one with one of these organic spa gift sets, available on Etsy.
- Or how about a sustainable spa voucher that supports eco-conscious approaches. Check out the Good Spa Guide’s recommendations here.
- Save money by creating a serene and sustainable home sanctuary with natural soy candles and essential oils. See my post on Best home Fragrances for more information about choosing eco-friendly home fragrances.
Recycled and Upcycled Art
Artwork is always a personal choice and with some careful thought and consideration this gift can have a romantic, meaningful story attached to it. Try one of these ideas to impress your loved one;
- Upcycled sculptures or decor crafted by artisans (like these shown above from Etsy).
- Thrifted artwork from local second-hand stores
DIY Eco-Friendly Gifts on a Budget
Get crafty and make something meaningful for you loved one. It doesn’t have to be some huge project but rather something symbolic to your relationship. Think of when your first met or an interest that your share and create a gift as a reminder of that. These ideas may spark some creative thinking;
- Framed photo: Print off a map of your special place. Stick or draw a small heart on the exact point on the map. Pop it into a frame and voila! A gift that means something to you both!
- Gift them an invitation (handwritten or printed on the computer) to a meal for two. Cook their favourite meal and set a romantic scene at home.
- Frame a favourite photograph of you both, sign it with love and give it as a gift.
I hope you find these suggestions for sustainable Valentine’s Day gifts useful and that you are inspired to go beyond the ordinary, emphasising a commitment to environmental consciousness whilst treating your loved one to a gift that not only conveys love but also embodies shared values and a dedication to a greener future, creating lasting memories beyond the fleeting moments of the day.
I would love to hear your thoughts on these gift ideas. Will you consider a more conscious approach to gift giving this Valentine’s Day? Let me know in the comments below.