Although it’s not a major holiday like Christmas and New Year’s, Valentines day is still a very special occasion for many. This is the day when people openly and extravagantly (sometimes) show their love and affection to their partners, family, and friends.
You may already be on the hunt for the ‘perfect gifts’ for your loved ones, but hold that thought for the moment. It’s understandable that you’d want to give the best and probably the most expensive gifts that you can afford. However, you might be forgetting something really important.
Think about how those fancy and expensive items were made. Think about where that nice-looking gift wrap will end up after the gifts have been opened. More importantly, think about Mother Nature and the impacts these gifts have on her.
Eco friendly Valentines gift ideas
Along with the message “I love you”, wouldn’t it be better to add “I love this planet?”. With that being said, here are eco-friendly gifts and ideas for Valentines Day that will surely get both messages across.
Cook a meal instead
Imagine dining in a fancy restaurant adorned with candles and a pianist playing in the background. That’s a dream date for all ladies, especially during Valentines.
But if you want to show some love for the environment as well, consider dining at home instead. There are ways in which you can make a simple dinner very romantic that your special someone will appreciate even more. You’ll need to get creative to come up with unique ideas, themes, or even to make it a surprise! Don’t forget to brighten up your home as well.
Steak is just one perfect idea, and it more sustainable if you buy local meat form the butchers or farmers market. This produce didn’t have to travel long distances to make it to your plate, meaning there’s very little to no fuel used for transportation — reducing your carbon footprint.
Vegan recipes will also do the trick if you and your partner are not into meat. A Valentine’s dinner doesn’t have to be in an expensive restaurant. What’s important is you, your loved one, and enjoying each other’s company.
A romantic dinner is never complete without a bottle or two of booze. It’s nice to know that there are companies who are into creating wines, beers, and spirits the eco-friendly way. Check Vintage Roots, Ocado, and Daylesford for their wide selections of organic wines and other products.
They’re called ‘organic’ because of how they are made. You see, organic wines are made from grapes that were never treated with chemicals like pesticides, insecticides, etc. This results in better-tasting wines which are, of course, friendly to the environment.
One other reason why you must start patronising “green booze” is that they rarely trigger hangovers. That’s because they contain less sulphur dioxide which contributes to all drinkers’ worst enemy.
Don’t forget about the candles! As much as wines are ‘a must’ for every romantic dinner, so are candles.
According to science, our body’s natural clock (circadian rhythm) is very sensitive to changes in light. Furthermore, candles have been associated with romance. Studies have shown that a dark environment with only candles as the source of dim light makes the pupils of the eyes dilate — a subconscious signal of attraction.
However, most candles are made from paraffin wax with synthetic fragrances. Paraffin wax is made from petroleum waste which creates toxic chemicals like benzene and toluene when burned. To make things worse, these chemicals are known carcinogens.
Besides, candles are also great gifts for your friends and family. Candles help people relax especially after a long day at work. So if you must buy candles, try the Soya versions from Etsy.
Organic, fair trade chocolates
After dinner, how about some chocolates for dessert? If you’re looking to satisfy the sweet tooth of your loved one, you’ll never go wrong with chocolates. They also make as nice gifts for Valentines regardless of age and gender.
BUT, the best chocolates are those that are organic, vegan, and fairtrade certified. It might be a little challenging to find true organic chocolates though so be cautious. Nevertheless, you and your loved ones don’t have to feel guilty after biting into organic chocolates.
DIY cards from recycled materials
Greeting cards are one of the oldest and simplest forms of gifts to have ever existed. And while it’s so easy to get the best greeting cards from stores, not to mention the heart-warming messages and quotes printed on them, opt for a DIY Valentines card instead.
After all, there’s a very big chance that these greeting cards will end up in the trash. This, in turn, will create more waste which is already a big issue. So, check for things that you can use at home like newspapers, magazines, cardboard, etc. Use your creative mind to come up with the perfect Valentines card.
Do this, and the possibility of your greeting card ending up in the trash will be reduced. Who wants to throw a card from someone who exerted time and effort in creating it? Besides, yours will be original and unique from the rest.
Fresh cut flowers
Roses are red; violets are blue, if you love the environment, this is what you should do.
A bouquet of flowers for Valentine’s will die in about a week. So why not consider a flowering houseplant instead? It won’t die anytime soon provided that it’s well taken care of. There’s also a lot of beautiful varieties that are so easy to maintain even for the newest gardener.
Aside from being a great gift, houseplants are also good for the body. They help purify the air you breathe and taking care of them teaches patience and discipline. Best of all, plants help reduce stress and create a feeling of well-being. If you learn to love gardening then you can even make a butterfly garden.
If in the end you do decide to gift cut flowers, make sure that one they come to the end of their life that you add them to your compost pile.
Ethical and eco-friendly jewellery
Another great thing to give or receive as a gift is jewellery. Many people would love a diamond necklace, a pair of earrings, or a watch.
But despite all the glitter and sparkles, most jewellery isn’t nice to the environment. Did you know that any industrial jewellery mining can have harmful and negative impacts on the environment? These impacts include land erosion, leakage of harmful chemicals to water supplies, and alteration of ecosystems.
And that’s not the end of it. The machinery used to process and create this jewellery also adds insult to the injury. What about fair trade? Are you even sure that the producers and workers are being compensated and treated justly?
Do your research before you spend your hard-earned money. If you want to give someone a piece of jewellery for Valentine’s Day, make sure that it’s made sustainably and responsibly. To give you a head start, Novica has the largest collection of handmade eco-friendly jewellery. They also sell other products like home decor, paintings, sculptures, clothing, and a whole lot more.