Whether it’s for your partner, your best friend, your sister or your parent, say ‘I love you’ with a green twist. Check out our Earth-friendly alternatives to your typical Valentine’s Day gifts!
DEAR [NAME HERE]…
Ditch the card from your generic card shop. Instead, consider a more sustainable way of writing words of love. You could write a handmade letter on recycled paper. Perhaps you could write a long list of why you love that special someone too? Otherwise, feel like a kid again and make a card yourself! Use recycled paper, get out those glitter pens and stickers and take time on your card to show how much you love them. Use non-toxic ink in your cards to give it that extra sustainable touch.
FLOWERS FOR YOUR SWEETHEART
Non-organic flowers are often grown with syntethic pesticides, herbicides (a lot of nasty chemicals with the word ‘cide’ in). Not good for the environment. They may have also been grown in non-Fairtrade environments where workers are underpaid. Instead give your love an organic potted plant, locally grown flowers or organic bouquets of flowers. Instead of giving flowers, why not show your love and help the planet at the same time by planting a tree? Go the extra mile and take out the ‘living’ aspect altogether. Instead, show your love through an origami flower made using recycled/ organic paper.
SMELLS LIKE VALENTINE’S DAY
Your average perfume bought from Superdrug is full of harmful chemicals. So instead you could buy an organic perfume. Organic perfume is good for sensitive skin, contains less harmful ingredients which can cause skin sensitivity and environmental damage. Ideally, instead give natural essential oils to help with emotional and physical healing. Essential oils can help with calming down, relaxing and lifting your mood.
I’M HOPELESSLY DEVOTED TO YOU
Show your true love you’re hopelessly devoted by showing off your talents. Write them a song, paint a picture or write a poem.
FOOD, GLORIOUS, FOOD
Instead of spending a fortune in an overpriced restaurant, take a sustainable approach. Take them for a romantic meal at a local, independent restaurant, so you are supporting local businesses and families. Show them just how much you love them by making a real effort. Serve them a homemade meal, using local, organic ingredients. Sustainable, cheaper and no need to book a taxi to take you home after too much wine! Or you could give them a gift for a foodie with a twist: take a cooking class together. Learn how to make delicious, homemade meals. Even better if the cooking school uses organic ingredients!
SPEAKING OF WINE…
The best way to be sustainable is to take alcohol out of the equation altogether. But if you like a glass of wine with your meal, how about making your own wine? There are many websites with advice on how to make wine. It’ll be cheaper, you can use organic ingredients, you can help the environment by recycling glass bottles and you can feel proud that you yourself made it. If you don’t have the time, buy locally-made organic wine or make cocktails with organic spirits. Find out all about organic mixology here.
SAY IT WITH CHOCOLATE
You could buy your other half a box of chocolates from a supermarket. Or you could delight them with a selection of organic, Fairtrade chocolates. Select chocolate that is organic or Fairtrade. Choose raw chocolate over your average chocolate. The Raw Chocolate Company is an example of a chocolate company who make delicious, yet incredibly sustainable, chocolate. Another great Valentine’s idea is to make chocolate a bonding activity. Buy a chocolate truffle making kit or attend a chocolate/ fudge making class together.
IF YOU MUST BUY A GIFT…
If you lack time to handmake a gift, instead of heading straight to a major high street brand, purchase a gift from a local, independent company to support a local business at the same time. Ensure you choose eco-friendly jewellery and clothes. Finally you could shop vintage. Visit an antique and retro shop. Your other half will appreciate the effort you have made scouring vintage shops to find the perfect gift!
When choosing candles, choose beeswax candles. They are the purest and most natural type of wax. They contain no artificial additives or processes. Make your own candles using organic wax.
A COUPLE OF AFTERTHOUGHTS…
- Choose quality over quantity. Choose Fairtrade, organic products or take time and care and make your own gifts. Your lover will appreciate the effort you have made.
- If you’re ready to expand your family (but are not quite ready for the pitter patter of little feet) adopt an animal or visit a shelter and give a new home to a needy pet.
Follow these tips and make your Valentine’s Day as unique as your love for the other person!
by student blogger, Megan Cork