Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and with it comes the pressure to do something special for your partner. A grand gesture isn’t always necessary, but an environmentally-friendly one can go a long way in showing the love you have for your special someone and for the planet.
To flip traditional Valentine’s Day gifts on their head, without losing any impact, consider these options for your partner this year. They’re all just a bit kinder to the environment.
Swap a bouquet for something that will last
A fresh bouquet of roses is the traditional gift on Valentine’s Day, but cut flowers have a short shelf life. What may ‘wow’ the day of, becomes trash a week later. Make a more permanent statement on how you feel about your special someone. Keep it green, but give something that lasts.
A potted plant, even one that flowers, is a great option. Your partner can keep the gift front and center all year round, remembering how much you love them. Some of the heartier plants include a Pothos or a Heartleaf Philodendron (perfectly themed for the occasion too). If you want a plant that flowers, check out a Peace Lily or Amaryllis.
If houseplants aren’t your partner’s thing, you can still keep it green with flowers or plants that can go into the garden.
Buy sustainable candy
The signature candy for Valentine’s Day is chocolate. Yes, those conversation hearts hit it big, but the real way to someone’s heart (or sweet tooth) on V-Day is with delicious chocolate. To make this gift idea more eco-friendly, don’t just grab any box off the shelf. Instead, look for the Fair Trade seal before you buy.
Fair Trade chocolate means the producers who make it use better social and environmental standards in their processes while also getting paid fair prices. This is especially important at the grower level for chocolate since unchecked, cacao trees can strip the rainforest and require excess pesticides be put into use.
Fair Trade chocolate tastes just as delicious but treats the environment more kindly and the workers more fairly from start to finish.
Make a gift yourself
Nothing means more to someone who loves you than a homemade gift. It’s a combination of the time and effort you put into the present as well as the gift itself. Also, by making it at home, you’re creating less waste, you don’t have to drive all over town to shop, and you have more control over the quality of ingredients you use.
Some of the best DIY ideas fall into the self-care category of Valentine’s Day gifts. That’s the type of gift that keeps giving since your partner will appreciate it when it’s opened and then each time they use it. You can make your own bar soap with ingredients like coconut and olive oil and your favorite essential oil or dried herbs for something that smells good and looks pretty. A DIY candle is also a great gift as are homemade bath salts.
Give an experience
Take romance to another level by gifting a unique experience you know your partner will love. Get tickets for a play or a concert. Find out what’s playing at your local symphony and do a refined night out. Go visit the zoo or aquarium if animals are your partner’s favorite. You can even take them on an art tour and visit a few local museums. The trick is to break away from the everyday activities you two already do together so this experience really stands out.
Forgo the wrapping paper
Whatever you ultimately decide to give as a Valentine’s Day gift, this year, make a promise to forgo the wrapping paper altogether. Gift wrap is a huge source of waste and is easy to do without for most Valentine’s gifts. You don’t need to wrap a plant at all, chocolates can go into a reusable box or tin, handmade products look beautiful on their own and you can’t wrap an experience. Gifts that will still wow without being wrapped in heart-covered paper can double up on how eco-friendly your present ultimately is.
Travel for Valentine’s Day sustainably
Another easy way to transform Valentine’s Day into an eco-friendly holiday is to think about how you’re going to get around. If the holiday is about going out to dinner or having that special experience, make sure your trip out is done sustainably.
Start by planning the most efficient route to your final destination, so you’re in the car for the least amount of time. If you need to pick anything up, park your car and go inside rather than idling for curbside delivery or going through a drive-thru.
If you need to fill up on gas, make sure you visit SpeedyQ Markets. Through their DRIVE™ Program, you can reduce your car’s carbon emissions by up to 30 percent with each full tank. This is because SpeedyQ Markets offsets a portion of your car’s emissions by investing in certified carbon reduction projects.
If you happen to pop in and grab a beverage while getting gas, the DRIVE program also offsets 100 percent of all hot and cold cups sold.
Have an eco-friendly Valentine’s Day
As you can see, it’s not hard to hold onto the romantic vibes meant for Valentine’s Day and still be eco-friendly. There are options that align with all the traditional bits of the holiday that people have come to love. And, by showing the planet a little extra love too, you’re making the holiday even more special.