Something about Valentine’s Day makes people feel the need to shower loved ones in gifts. While this isn’t the most sustainable way to celebrate, it is possible to give gifts that aren’t wasteful. According to Waste360, Americans alone purchase 36 million heart-shaped boxes, 180 million greeting cards, 198 million roses and consume 881,000 bottles of sparkling wine and 58 million pounds of chocolate per year. These numbers are staggering when you consider it’s one hallmark holiday. They go on to explain that the carbon emissions generated from this exceed that of “driving around the world 3993 times”. Let’s all make an effort to celebrate sustainably this year. Show your love with a less-waste gift such as these.
1.Bulk Candies in a Mason Jar
Instead of buying all of the excessively packaged and well marketed chocolates this year, visit your local bulk store. You could fill a mason jar with valentine’s day themed chocolates that will look just as cute but skip the wasteful wrapping.
2.Recycled Crayon Moulds
The most adorable valentine for kids or the crafter in your life: crayon hearts. Earth Mama Charlotte made these with her daughter for her class last year as Valentine’s. They are a great way to use old and broken crayon pieces. All you need is a mould and an oven to melt the crayons in.
3.Date Night Jar
If you are the couple that struggles to think of date ideas or always does the fall-back dinner and a movie, spice it up. Fill a mason jar with little date night plans. See how many you can do before summer, or next Valentine’s Day. If you are an extra planner you could include money, coupon, tickets, etc with the date idea. Not sure where to start? Here are 15 low waste date night ideas.
A classic DIY favourite. Kids can make them for family members, they also make great romantic gifts. Make a few coupons by hand or on the computer with different services to cash in. For example (10 free hugs, 1 night of babysitting, massage, etc). Be creative!
Skip the traditional roses that aren’t as green as you may think, the World Resources Institute breaks it down and go with something longer lasting. Plants make a great addition to any home or even workspace. It’s a great reminder of your love and as an added bonus it helps clean our air and has been linked to reducing your overall stress. If you want to add a personal touch, decorate the planter yourself. Here are a few unique ideas from coolcrafts.com
6.Home Baked Goodies
Everyone loves homemade baking, it’s both delicious and heartfelt. If you gift it in a reusable container like a baking tin or tupperware you earn extra eco points.
Seeds are a great gift for the gardener in your life, or even for someone who may be looking to start. Depending on your climate you may be able to help them plant soon! They’ll think of you every-time they enjoy their harvest.
Everyone loves to try something new. Why not give your loved one the opportunity to do something they love or experience a new activity. Check out these 20 experience based gift ideas, there is something for everyone.
For the little one in your life, or maybe for their classmates. Homemade play-dough is quick to make and can be customized to any colour you wish. You can easily make it in large quantities as well for class sized gifts. Tiny tupperware or jars make the perfect containers. Here is an easy to follow recipe: https://www.iheartnaptime.net/play-dough-recipe/
If you are looking to gift a book, clothing item or even household item check out your local thrift shop. They are full of wonderful unique gifts. For more thrifting tips check here.
11.Zero Waste Kit
If you have an eco conscious person in your life, this could be a great gift to help them reduce waste while out and about. A zero waste kit is small bag to have on hand with items that make it easy to pass on single use plastics. Check out our must have items.
12.Donation in their Name
Most of us don’t need more THINGS, but there are plenty of organizations that could use some help. If your loved one is passionate about the environment, women’s rights, equal access to education, etc. There is always a way to make a contribution on their behalf. Love is contagious, spread it around.
13.Paper Bag Popcorn
This treat can double as a card. Your child can decorate the bags with sweet Valentine’s day messages and you can fill the bag with sweet or salty stove top popcorn. Not entirely zero-waste but the paper bag can be recycled. Earth Mama Charlotte made these as goodies for her daughter’s class.
14.Reasons Why I Love You Jar
A heartfelt, personal gift for any Valentine. All you need to do is write out reasons you love the person on paper strips and tuck them in a jar (or any container you wish to repurpose). If they open one each day, they’ll have a daily reminder of your love.
If we all make the effort, think of the waste we could save! For more eco Valentine’s day ideas click here. What are you favorite low-waste gifts to give or receive?