February is filled with pink and red roses and heart-shaped boxes of assorted chocolate. And with Valentine’s Day sneaking up on us, it’s time to start thinking about what to get your special someone.
According to the National Retail Federation, about 53% of surveyed U.S. consumers plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, and shoppers are expected to spend approximately $175 per person on gifts. However, traditional Valentine’s Day gifts—like boxed chocolates and flower bouquets—aren’t exactly eco-friendly.
But Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to come with an increased carbon footprint. This year, celebrate sustainably! With this gift guide, you can keep the planet in mind while shopping for your loved ones.
Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas to Spread the Love
1. DIY Gifts
Handmade gifts are extra special and incredibly thoughtful. Spending the time to hand-make a gift for someone you love can go a long way. Plus, if you use recycled or upcycled materials, your handmade gift won’t come with waste. Some DIY gifts may only take you 30 minutes to make, and others will save you a lot of money.
From handmade candles to upcycled tote bags to hanging plant-holders, the ball is in your court with DIY gifts. You can even knit beanies, sweaters, and socks. Use this time to get creative and make something you can’t purchase in-store.
2. Flower Bouquet Alternatives
Flower bouquets are one of the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts. They can be bought at florists, grocery stores, and even your local corner store. But it’s possible that those flowers were unethically sourced and come with increased shipping emissions. Plus, figuring out how to keep flowers fresh isn’t easy—they wilt within a week.
Instead of giving your special someone a flower bouquet, check out our favorite cut flower alternatives! You can give someone a potted houseplant, which lasts much longer than flowers, or you can opt for flower seeds to give your loved one the chance to start a new garden! The options are endless, and most of them last a lot longer than flowers.
You can also check out Bright Side Seed Balls. These packs include seed ball “truffles” and include five seed balls made of non-GMO seeds, clay, and worm castings. You can choose between wildflower seeds or herb seeds.
3. Self-Care Gifts
Expressing self-love is just as important as spreading love to others. This Valentine’s Day, give yourself or your loved one a self-care gift set.
Start with an all-natural, non-toxic candle, scented with essential oils. Throw in some cozy, ethically made socks and some plastic-free body wash and you’ve got a mini-self-care kit. And if want something super easy, look into this self-care gift set.
The kit includes a sateen and lavender eye pillow, Himalayan bath salts, a candle, and cozy socks. It has everything one may need for a self-care day. And the best part is, everything in the box is responsibly sourced and eco-friendly!
4. Sustainable Baking Mix
Chocolates and desserts are Valentine’s Day must-haves. In fact, Americans consume about 58 million pounds of chocolate during the week of Valentine’s Day. But the chocolate industry isn’t the most sustainable one, with ties to deforestation and unethical labor practices.
If you’re looking to avoid potentially unsustainable chocolates this year, but still want to give your loved one something sweet, try a sustainable baking mix like the oat chocolate chip cookie mix, brownie mug mix, and matcha chip cookie mix. Each of these kits contains upcycled ingredients, helping keep waste out of the landfill.
5. Fair Trade Chocolate
If you still want some heart-shaped, fudge-filled chocolates, we don’t blame you! They’re a Valentine’s Day staple, after all.
However, you can opt for ethically sourced chocolates that come in recyclable packaging. When shopping for the perfect chocolate assortment, also always check for Fair Trade labels to ensure the product was produced with the workers and environment in mind.
Additionally, avoid packaging that contains a combination of paper, plastic, and glitters. While most chocolate packagings are gorgeous to look at, they’re extremely hard to recycle; thus, they’ll get sent to the landfill. Keep the packaging simple, and even check for chocolate boxes made with upcycled or recycled materials!
6. Sustainable Wine and Matching Wine Glasses
Valentine’s Day isn’t just about the chocolates and the flowers. If you’re looking to buy a bottle of wine this holiday, be sure to find sustainable wines. To do this, check the labels! And if you’re not sure what the labels mean, check out our go-to guide.
To go with your wine, you’ll need a set of glasses. This set of two stemless wine glasses was handblown in Tonalá, Mexico, and is made to last!
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