Valentine's Day is right around the corner and I’ll be honest - I’m not usually somebody who celebrates Valentine’s Day. BUT, with the current lockdown in the UK, I am keen to take advantage and celebrate every possible occasion! As the founder of Sustainer Container, a sustainable gifting business, I have been considering how to make Valentine’s Day and Valentine’s Day gifts more sustainable. So if you want to treat the planet as well as your partner this Valentine’s Day, keep reading for my top tips for finding sustainable gifts that your partner will love!
My top tips for choosing sustainable Valentine’s Day gifts include:
- Shopping locally for your sustainable Valentine’s gifts
- Practical and sustainable Valentine’s gifts
- Get creative with personalised Valentine’s gifts
- An experience - Valentine’s Day activities you can do even in lockdown!
- Sustainable Valentine’s gift wrapping ideas
A big part of Valentine’s Day is centered around gifting and treating your partner to something special and with the current lockdown, I think we all need a little treat more than ever. In recent years more and more people have been celebrating Valentine’s Day, with almost 80% of people celebrating Valentine’s Day in 2020. But, instead of the traditional chocolates and flowers (both often packaged in plastic) - 2021 could be the year to choose a sustainable Valentine’s gift and treat your partner and the planet.
1. Sustainable Valentine’s Gifts - Shopping locally
Shopping with local and small businesses is a great way to find a unique and personal Valentine’s Day gift. Not only does shopping locally help support your local community, it can also benefit the environment. The gift you are buying will be travelling less distance to get to you (as opposed to large businesses where your gift may be shipped from a central hub) and this will reduce the carbon footprint, making your Valentine’s gift more sustainable. Remember that this only applies if the gift you are buying has been produced or handmade locally. If, due to lockdown you are unable to access your local highstreet - have a browse through local directories online to uncover new local businesses and browse for your sustainable Valentine’s gift.
2. Sustainable Valentine’s Gifts - Practical Gifts
Arguably, the most sustainable gifts are those that are practical and will be used by your partner - rather than simply sit there and possibly go to waste. It is therefore worth while considering a more practical gift this Valentine’s Day - particularly if you and your partner are trying to be more environmentally conscious. For example, our Daily Sustainability Gift Boxes are the perfect practical and sustainable Valentine’s gift. The boxes include sustainable alternatives to daily necessities including a bamboo toothbrush, toothpaste tablets and a 2 in 1 shampoo and soap bar. As well as toiletries the set includes a reusable gift box, a beeswax wrap (reusable alternative to cling film) and a fruit and veg produce bag. Get your Daily Sustainability Gift Box here.
If you are on a mission to find a sustainable Valentine’s gift for 2021, be sure to research how your gift will be packaged when ordering online. There is nothing worse than ordering a sustainable product which comes wrapped in single use plastic! Look for packaging that is reusable, recyclable or compostable to ensure your Valentine’s gift is as sustainable as possible.
3. Sustainable Valentine’s Gifts - Get Creative with Personalised Gifts
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to get creative with a really personal gift for your partner. If you are artistic, try hand making a Valentine’s Day card for a really special personal touch that your partner will appreciate (even if the card doesn’t turn out quite as intended). Not feeling creative? Many small businesses will be happy to include a handmade or personalised card with your order, often at no extra cost - so this is well worth looking into. I love including a handmade personalised card with your gift orders, to make your sustainable Valentine’s gift even more special.
Another suggestion for getting creative with your sustainable Valentine's gift is to have a go at baking. If baking is your thing, bake your partners favourite dessert for a gift they are guaranteed to love! If, like me, baking is not your thing, give a simple recipe a go - even if it doesn’t look professional (my baking rarely does), I’m sure it will taste great and your partner will appreciate the effort.
4. Sustainable Valentine’s Gifts - An Experience
If you are struggling to find a physical gift for your partner this Valentine’s Day - an experience could be the perfect thoughtful gift for your partner. Plus, with many gifts going to waste or being packaged in plastic, an experience could also be a sustainable Valentine’s gift. For Valentine’s Day 2021 the usual trip to a romantic candlelit restaurant or weekend away isn’t going to be an option, but there are plenty of Valentine’s Day activities you can do from home.
My first first idea for a sustainable Valentine’s Day experience is to cook your favorite three course dinner together. Grab a glass of wine and choose your favourite recipes and make a night out of cooking together and enjoying a relaxing dinner and glass of wine (or a bottle). Alternatively, if cooking isn’t for you, order your dinner from your favourite local takeaway. Choose your favourite film to snuggle down and enjoy or why not try recreating the restaurant experience? Get out your best crockery, light some candles, open your best bottle of wine (or drink of choice), this will help it to feel like a special occasion.
With Valentine’s Day being on a Sunday this year, another option would be to find a new walk (that isn’t too far from home to comply with your Covid regulations) or your favourite walk. Enjoy a romantic stroll and spend some quality time together whilst getting some exercise and fresh air. To make your walk more romantic, try to time it with sunrise or sunset and enjoy the beautiful sky together. Alternatively, if you have your own garden try a romantic picnic for lunch. Pack up all of your favourite lunch foods and snacks, put down a picnic rug, grab some blankets to sit under, a mug of something hot and cuddle up to stay warm.
5. Sustainable Valentine’s Gifts - Gift Wrapping
So you have researched and purchased your sustainable Valentine’s gift and the big day is nearly here, all that is left to do is wrap up your gift. But, before you rush out to grab some Valentine’s Day wrapping paper which can only be used once a year (and you’ll probably forget where it is), stop to consider whether this wrapping paper is recyclable? Often, wrapping paper and plastic tape cannot be recycled and end up in landfill.
Kraft paper is an alternative to printed wrapping paper and it can be recycled as long as it is used with kraft paper tape rather than plastic tape. Or if you are after something a bit more jazzy to wrap your sustainable Valentine’s gift, reusable wrapping paper could be just the solution! Unlike kraft paper, reusable wrapping paper still has a beautiful print and is tied with string rather than tape so can be reused over and over again - reducing waste. Our reusable wrapping paper is double sided with a Christmas print on one side and a more neutral spots and stripes print on the other side, so is perfect for any occasion. Plus the paper comes with a message pouch that you can place a handwritten note inside and the reusable wrapping paper is made from 12 recycled plastic bottles - making your Valentine’s gift as sustainable as possible, get your Earth Friendly Reusable Wrapping Paper here.
From shopping locally and choosing a practical gift to getting creative, gifting an experience and choosing a sustainable gift wrapping option - these have been my top tips for choosing sustainable Valentine’s gifts. Although this Valentine’s Day will be different - I think this is even more reason to celebrate this year and do something special with your loved one, we all deserve a pick me up. Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest if you found these tips helpful or if you have any additional tips I should add.
Happy Valentine’s Day - enjoy treating your partner and the planet with your sustainable Valentine’s gift. Shop sustainable Valentine’s gifts here.