Valentine’s Day represents a celebration of love and connection. This can be between a couple, family members, friends or for oneself. It’s a wonderful opportunity to let people know you care about them and a time we want to feel the aliveness of butterflies in our stomachs and joy in our own hearts too.
Valentine’s Day ideas and gifts can unfortunately trigger a lot of landfill waste with shiny cards, wrapping, plastic and teddy bears, however it doesn’t need to. There are many ways to celebrate your love for another, whilst also caring the planet and its people.
Here are our favourite conscious Valentine’s Day ideas:
1. Write a love letter
The most meaningful Valentine’s gifts I’ve ever received were love letters, written straight from the heart. Memorable and representing more than money can buy, an outpouring of feeling of what that person means to you and excitement for the future, with them in your life, is really what we want to receive and will be treasured forever.
2. Gift a living plant instead of flowers
Love is more than a transient bloom, so this Valentine’s Day, try gifting a living plant instead of flowers. This could take the form of a houseplant, succulent, tree or flowers to plant in your own or loved one’s garden. (Extra points if you do the planting for them too!)
A living plant not only can be enjoyed far into the future, it also represents growth and a breath of fresh air.
3. Choose ethical chocolate
A Valentine’s Day classic – just make sure it’s ethical to ensure you are not supporting child labour and deforestation with your purchase, which unfortunately is widespread in the cacao industry.
Read our Guide to choosing ethical chocolate or jump to Find our Clean + Conscious Chocolate winners HERE. Not only are the chocolate products we recommend child labour free, they are palm oil free and sustainably produced and packaged.
4. Choose a gift that lasts
This Valentine’s Day, make it your purpose to only buy gifts which won’t add to landfill. Rather than going for gimmicky, make Valentine’s Day giving about quality. Think about the lifetime of the materials that your gift is made from and make sure the purchase is something with purpose or meaning. Take notice of what your Valentine needs or enjoys doing and try to gift something that they will use.
If they are into health or fitness, why not gift some activewear or a yoga mat or accessory.
Great zero waste gift ideas include a reusable coffee cup or drink bottle. There are also beautiful zero waste body and beauty products which are sure to delight.
5. Give a gift which disappears without a trace
A wonderful zero waste gift is one of food – why not include a gift of organic chai made from fair-trade tea and organic spices? Or some organic superfoods to help a loved one on a health kick?
Other fantastic zero waste gift ideas include experiences.
6. Experience the beauty of nature together
Sharing together the beauty of nature is a wonderful way to celebrate Valentine’s Day and create special memories. To give excitement and create a real bonding experience, why not try something new together? Plan a bike ride and a picnic, hike a mountain, hire a rowing boat or a kayak together or take a blanket and warm drinks out at night and stargaze together.
7. Gift an experience
Gift your loved one an experience – by themselves or even better, together. The memories can last a lifetime and be very bonding. Experiences can range from theatre tickets to cooking, art, pottery, wine tasting classes, to a weekend getaway. You could even recreate your first date.
An experience gift shows you’ve put time and thought into getting your Valentine something special.
8. Shop locally
When making purchases, keep in mind where a product is coming from and the impact that transportation across the world has on contributing to greenhouse emissions.
Choose to purchase products made locally if you can. You will not only be supporting small business owners and reducing your footprint on the environment but also supporting local farmers and communities.
Skincare products made with wildcrafted Australian native ingredients such as Kakadu Plum, Kangaroo Flower and Lemon Myrtle are incredibly popular and sure to impress.
9. The best gifts sometimes don’t cost anything
Make a video compilation or a collage of pictures of your favourite memories together. Write a poem, a song or a little book about your love story.
10. If gifting jewellery, make it ethical
If buying jewellery this Valentine’s Day, make sure to buy from jewellery company has ethical and transparent sourcing and production practices. Also, consider buying secondhand!
The glittering jewellery and gemstone industries can hide a darker side of conflict, child labour, forced labour and exploitation, which you definitely don’t want to support in the name of love!
11. Make your own card
Avoid adding to landfill with a plastic coated card and make your own card with recycled cardboard or buy a Fairtrade one or recyclable one from a small business. Even better, include a heartfelt message inside, to make your card just as special as any gift.
12. Wrap sustainably
Ditch the wrapping paper and sticky tape and wrap your gift in a reusable bag that can be used again and again for running errands. Other sustainable options include classic brown paper tied up with string or fabric.
We hope you love our conscious Valentine’s Day ideas and you have a very happy, meaningful day. Just remember, it is our time, thought, caring and being present with one another which makes the best gift of all.