Valentine's Day is the second biggest holiday that we offer greeting cards after Christmas. Over a billion cards are exchanged on this day worldwide and are often laminated, covered in glitter or otherwise decorated in a way that makes them impossible to recycle. Add to that the other gifts that are thrown away, such as balloons, stuffed teddy bears and decorations, and it's clear that Valentine's Day can be quite damaging to the environment. But it doesn't have to be!
On Valentine's Day we celebrate love and, whether that's love for a partner, friend or family member, Valentine's Day is a wonderful opportunity to show our people that we care about them. There are many ways to do this in a sustainable, eco-friendly way so that we can show our love to the planet at the same time! We have put together and suggested some sustainable gift ideas.
Buy a useful gift
Offer a useful gift that the recipient will keep for a long time. Go through the process of finding out what it is that he or she would really like using your listening and observation skills and identify something your loved one really needs. Maybe he would like an everyday item, a piece of artwork for his room or a ticket to his favorite singer's concert?
Buy a recyclable card or make your own!
If you're going to choose a card, you can make your own or buy a recyclable one from a small business. Get inspired by Pinterest, it has countless ideas, many of them are super easy!
Buy a plant instead of cut flowers
Choose a potted houseplant, even if you're afraid it will dry up. After all, cut flowers end up in the trash anyway. Try plants like chlorophyll, crave, swordwood, anthurium or aloe that not only clean up the atmosphere of the house but are also very difficult to dry out. If you're still hesitant, try a dried bouquet, but of real flowers and not plastic ones, yes? It will easily decorate your loved one's space without any need of care!
Choose Fair Trade chocolates
Candy and chocolates account for about half of the gifts given on Valentine's Day, with 58 million pounds of candy purchased in the week leading up to Valentine's Day! Chocolate often has a social and environmental cost that far exceeds its true value. The cocoa industry is responsible for widespread economic inequality, child labour, forced labour and deforestation. Look for chocolates with the Fair Trade logo to buy ethically sourced chocolate. Buy sweets from your local bakery or make your loved ones their favourite sweet.
Think of original gift ideas
Spend time with your loved ones, try a new activity, a new flavor or explore a new location together. Write a song or a poem for the more romantic ones, make a video of your favourite moments. Get as creative as you can, the logic is to support sustainability by focusing less on consumerism and more on celebrating love this Valentine's Day and, if you're going to buy gifts, seek out options from businesses with ethical practices.