Valentine’s Day—it’s all about love. Love for your partner, your friends, even yourself. But what about the earth? Balloons that don’t biodegrade, cards that end up in the trash, stuffed animals holding hearts that get tossed in the donation pile—none of it shows much love to the planet.
That doesn’t mean you need to boycott Valentine’s Day though. It’s a time to celebrate and show gratitude for the people you care about most. It’s also a time of joy that gets us through the dark, dreary, and bitterly cold months of January and February. No one should miss out on that. It’s just a matter of celebrating in a mindful manner.
To help you get started, here are a few sustainable Valentine’s Day gift ideas that say “I love you and the planet.”
12 Sustainable Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas For Your Loved One
A gift set that will feed their soul (and their stomach)
Inspire your favorite foodie with a cookbook gift set from The Little Market. You can easily customize it to fit their personality by selecting the cookbook, utensils, and any add-ons such as gourmet olive oil or spice blends. Even better though, your purchase will also support human rights and social justice advocacy.
An (ethical) box of chocolates
Level up your chocolate game with a bundle of ethically produced chocolates. It may not be heart-shaped, but trust me, it contains way more love than that the CVS chocolate you were going to grab on your way home from work. This bundle not only features some of the most delicious chocolate I’ve ever had (which is serious stuff because I consider myself a bit of a chocolate snob), But it also is comprised of brands that are passionate about eliminating slave labor in the cocoa industry.
A puzzle from the heart
Instead of gifting flowers that have a finite life span, shower your partner with flowers in puzzle form. It can be enjoyed together or as a relaxing, mindful solo activity.
A commemorative art piece
Commemorate your first home together, your first date, or any other array of memorable places your relationship has taken you with this customizable wall art. It’s a gift that oozes thoughtfulness, but not tackiness when hung up to display. It’s the perfect gift for a partner who appreciates subtle sentimentalism, and maybe has a blank wall or two.
An eco-friendly time piece
A watch makes the perfect gift for anyone who appreciates a functional accessory (or maybe just needs a little help with being on time). Tense Watch offers a variety of styles made from 100% recycled or reclaimed wood, while Berg + Betts offers fantastic upcycled leather options. Either one sounds like a great time to me.
The gift of adventure
Reminisce on adventures and plan for new ones with this adventure lovers gift set. It comes complete with a world scratch map, adventure challenge scrapbook, conversation starting pint glasses, and a retro reel viewer that’ll provide endless inspiration for your next date night or trip around the world.
A piece of ethical jewelry
Rarely can you go wrong with gifting jewelry. For everything from necklaces to engagement rings (if that’s where you’re at in life) check out Brilliant Earth. They use recycled metals and Beyond Conflict Free diamonds, meaning they meet strict environmental & human rights standards. For a lower price point, Ana Luisa is another great option. They’re certified Climate Neutral, and offer beautiful pieces, many of which are made with recycled materials.
A lovely fragrance
A classic fragrance makes a great Valentine’s Day gift. When searching for an eco-friendly option, transparency is key. Legally, the contents of a “fragrance” don’t have to be disclosed, but ethical brands will tell you about both their natural and synthetic ingredients. And, no, synthetics aren’t always bad. Some people are allergic to popular botanicals like lavender or chamomile while some species, like Sandalwood, are being over harvested. In these cases, a lab-made alternative may be more sustainable. When in doubt, ask the brand about its ingredients. Brands that value transparency (like Skylar, OneSeed and By Rosie Jane) will take time to answer your inquiry.
A gift that’ll grow with them
If the way to your partner’s heart is through their green thumb, then this is the gift set for you. It comes with a indoor zinnia hydroponic kit, so they can start (or add to) their indoor garden with minimal effort. And while they’re waiting for their new plant to bloom they can put together a retro-style succulent puzzle (1,000 pieces for maximum challenge and enjoyment).
A card they’ll want to keep
Sometimes it’s easier to tell your Valentine how you feel in writing, in which case give them a card (but make it sustainable). Aya Paper Company—a black woman-owned brand, delivers all the sustainably-printed stationary your heart desires. Including Valentine’s Day cards, which are printed with 100% non toxic ink on 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper.
A handmade gift
Even if you’re on a tight budget you can still say “I love you” with a handmade gift. All you need is a mason jar and some paper. Fill the jar with fun memories you have of your Valentine and when they have a bad day, they can reach over, pull one out and (hopefully) have a good laugh. Even if the relationship takes a turn, they can at least compost the paper and utilize the jar for something else, like wine, food storage, or to hold flowers from their future (but certainly not better) partner.
If you enjoyed these sustainable Valentine’s Day gift ideas and are craving more sustainable living tips, then sign up for The Eco Edit! You’ll be joining hundreds of other pro-planet enthusiasts who are passionate about bettering the world through small, sustainable steps.