Any holiday that involves gift-giving is a chance to choose to be more conscious of our consumption and how it affects us, the people who make the products and the planet. So for Valentine's Day, here are some gift (and non-gift) ideas of how you can spread the love to your special someone(s) and the planet too.
1. Make your own cardThose store bought ones typically come covered in plastic, so why not make something extra special and get your creativity flowing in the process! Start by brainstorming ideas you can use like a fun saying, inside joke or reference that is unique to the two of you. (Check out this Pinterest board for ideas!) I always save meaningful cards, and they often become my favorite part of the gift!
2. Sweets for your sweetheart
I don't know about you, but cookies are definitely the way to my heart. Bake your loved one their favorite treat, and maybe even test out a vegan recipe that omits dairy or eggs to cut back on your carbon footprint! (Minimalist Baker has some great ones!)
3. Spend quality time together
Plan a fun date night instead of giving physical gifts. Make it something special that will create lasting memories - try a new type of food or restaurant, go for a hike, watch the sunset with a picnic and bottle of wine, go ice skating, take a pottery class, cook a fancy meal together - the possibilities are endless!
4. Stuffed animals with purpose
Instead of buying a generic teddy bear from the store, get them a stuffed animal that represents and benefits a cause they care about! Ocean Alliance makes these adorable stuffed whales from re-purposed wool sweaters that benefit their research team, and Oceana has a similar program with adorable stuffed otters, puffins, penguins and more!
5. Skip the balloons, go with local blooms
Balloons cause unnecessary waste and endanger wildlife. Instead, opt for fresh flowers, preferably from a farmer's market or local garden center! Even better, get a potted plant (you can't go wrong with succulents) that will last much longer than just a few days like the cut ones. If you are going to order flower online, go with a company that ethically and sustainably sources from farms, like The Bouqs Company or UrbanStems.
6. Gifts that give back
Giving a gift that benefits a worthy cause not only makes you and the recipient feel good about supporting something larger than yourselves, it can also demonstrate the care and attention you give to finding out what is important to your partner. Check out our Gifts that Give Back Gift Guide for some inspiration!
If you're shopping for an ocean lover, 20% of proceeds from every purchase of Clam & Clasp seashell jewelry are donated to non-profits focused on ocean conservation. Learn more and check out our pieces here!
What's the best eco-friendly Valentine's Day gift you've received? Tell us in the comments so we can keep the ideas flowing!