Be my ‘Eco’ Valentine – 8 ideas for green gifts for Valentine’s Day
How to have an Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is a fantastic time to show your loved ones how you feel about them. But you don’t need to spend lots of money or generate more waste, to express your love! In fact, you don’t really need to buy anything, although I have listed a few bought ideas here.
These are my 8 ideas for a more ‘eco-friendly’ Valentine’s Day this year.
1. Make a homemade card
I always think that shop bought cards are so expensive for what they are. They will end up recycled or in the rubbish a few days after they are given, and they are often wrapped in plastic.
Making cards is pretty easy though – even if you are not very arty! I have some craft supplies at home, as my children love creating things (so many paper creations, I have to sneak them into the compost bin sometimes!).
A card can be as simple or as advanced as you want. Search online for ‘handmade cards’ for inspiration.
2. Say it with food – bake or cook something special
Making a special dinner, dessert, cake or even putting together a picnic would always be appreciated by your loved one.
You could challenge yourself to make something that comes from reusable or recyclable containers, rather than single use containers!
3. Or go out for dinner…
It’s a lovely treat to go out to dinner. It’s better for the environment if the restaurant uses local ingredients from local farmers and producers. This helps reduce carbon emissions from ‘food miles’.
We don’t go out for dinner often, as we live out of town so we’d need to drive there, and I’m trying to reduce how much driving we do. It also feels extravagant to spend more money on dinner than we would spend on groceries in a week! But it is lovely to go out, have a meal cooked for you, try something different from your usual cooking, and no washing up afterwards.
4. Give a gift of tickets to an experience
Gifts of ‘experiences’ can be a great eco-friendly choice, as you are not buying a physical item that has been made and will possibly one day need to be disposed of. Ideas for Valentine’s Day include:
- Movie tickets
- Theatre or concert tickets
- A trip to a tourist attraction
- Vouchers for a beauty treatment or massage.
5. Buy a plant for the house or garden
Instead of buying cut flowers that will only last for a week or so, you could buy a potted plant for the house or garden. There are some gorgeous flowering plants at this time of year, that will brighten your life for months or even years.
And buying a tree to plant together is the best environmentally friendly gift! A fruit tree is a gift that keeps on giving.
If you really love to give cut flowers though, you might be able to find a local grower selling their homegrown flowers. This is a more eco-friendly gift idea, compared to buying a bouquet full of flowers that have been shipped from somewhere else in the world. And you can compost the flowers when they have reached the end of their life.
6. Give Fair Trade Chocolate
If you would like to give your Valentine chocolates, choose Fair Trade chocolate, to support better working and growing conditions.
Fair trade cocoa is an agricultural product harvested from a cocoa tree using a certified process which is followed by cocoa farmers, buyers, and chocolate manufacturers, and is designed to create sustainable incomes for farmers and their families.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_trade_cocoa
There are some fabulous Fair Trade chocolates from:
7. Go for eco friendly wine or beer (or cider, or…)
If you are planning a drink or two to celebrate, choose an eco friendly wine or beer. This could be a product that is:
- grown organically with no pesticides,
- grown and made locally rather than imported,
- packaged in glass or cans, rather than in plastic bottles,
- and remember to recycle the empties!
8. Give Vintage or Recycled Jewelry
An extra special gift at Valentine’s Day is jewelry. To make this gift more eco friendly, you could buy a piece of vintage jewelry at an antique or second hand shop. Or you could even gift your loved one an heirloom piece, that has been passed down through the family.
Gift giving doesn’t have to cost the earth
Some of the ideas listed are similar to the gift ideas for Christmas that I wrote about in my post Ideas for a Zero Waste Christmas. We can choose gifts that are either:
- Second hand,
- Vintage or antique,
- Locally made, or
- Experiences instead of ‘things’.
Thanks for reading, and I’d love your feedback.