Sustainable Valentine’s Gift Ideas to Put Mother Earth First This Year
Sustainability gets forgotten every Valentine’s Day. This year, try to have a more sustainable day with more sustainable gifts.
Estimated Read Time: 7 minutes
We’ll be the first to admit that Valentine’s Day has always felt a bit commercial. The Christmas decorations we’re too quickly removed and everywhere you look is now covered with pink and red, hearts, and puckered lips.
It just kind of feels like we’re all being told we HAVE to spend money on someone. It’s a day to delicately skate around if you’re newly dating someone (or don’t know where you stand), a day to be miserable if you’re single (which you shouldn’t be), and a day for companies to post sales and rake in money.
So one day we decided we needed to find the positive side of Valentine’s Day which we ended up doing as we looked into how to have a more Sustainable Valentine’s Day.
Read on to learn more about the ugly side of Valentine’s Day and our recommendations for turning this wasteful day into a sustainable one!
The Impact of Valentine's Day: Think Again Before Grabbing That Bouquet of Roses
One of the first gifts you probably associate with Valentine’s Day are flowers, specifically Roses. And while you could be thinking that flowers are fairly harmless when it comes to gifting you might want to read on.
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
The majority of Roses sold in the United States are actually imported from Latin American countries — specifically Colombia and Ecuador, according to this great Vox article.
In the weeks prior to Valentine’s Day, no less than 60 planes are flying into the U.S. everyday carrying only flowers. They then get transported to their retail destinations via refrigerated trucks where they’ll go to a consumer (best case scenario), be enjoyed for a few days, and then dumped in the trash where they rot in a landfill and produce CO2 emissions.
And that’s just the flowers.
The Environmental Impact of Valentine's Day
Valentine’s Day isn’t any different from any of the other holidays which generally creates an increase in trash, waste, and emissions. From Waste360, we learn that during Valentine's Day:
36 Million Heart-Shaped Boxes Are Purchased
Over 1 Million Trees Are Cut Down Each Year To Make 180 Million Valentine’s Day Cards
198 Million Roses Are Gifted
18,000 Metric Tons Of CO2 Is Generated To Produce And Ship Valentine Roses To The U.S. Each Year
881,000 Bottles Of Sparkling Wine Are Consumed
58 Million Pounds Of Chocolate Are Eaten
Consumption On Valentine’s Day In The U.S. Generates Enough Carbon Emissions To Drive Around The World 3,993 Times!
How We Decided To Have A More Sustainable Valentine’s Day
So rather than be bummed, annoyed, or even angry every February, we started thinking about how we could change the narrative and create a more sustainable Valentine’s Day.
1. We Took Back Our Perception of Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s gifts are weird to buy and weird to receive because we’re being fed this narrative that we HAVE to. So we changed the narrative to “we get to”. We get to hang out with our Significant Other today. We get to treat our S.O. today. We get a day to pause our busy schedules and take time to say we love and appreciate those closest to us. The same goes for close friends and even yourself!
2. We Increased the Sustainability
Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash
As hard as it is, we had to look away from the candy sales, the teddy bears, the roses, the perfect Instagram posts of the perfect couples, and focus on what really mattered. How could we reduce our waste and impact on the planet during this particular holiday?
A Few Out Of The Box Sustainable Valentine’s Day Gift Alternative Ideas Include:
Send an email instead of buying a paper card/paper valentine’s.
Plan ahead and shop local artisans including farmer’s markets and local greenhouses for in-season flowers!
Do Something Nice
If your S.O.’s love language is Acts of Kindness, try cleaning the house while letting them relax.
Bake a Valentine’s Day gift instead of buying
Plant a tree or purchase carbon offsets for your eco-friendly loved one
Set the Mood
Use items around the house to set the mood for a cozy night in
Cook a vegan meal instead of going out to a fancy steakhouse and spending tons of $$
No waste, no mess and the receiver gets to pick out something they really want or need
Alternative Sustainable Valentine’s Day Gifts
This year try a sustainable Valentine’s Day gift that protects our planet and gives back to it. Should you still want to give a gift, we got you!
Shop our entire Valentine’s Day Collection here or read on for sustainable Valentine’s Day gift ideas.
So yes, we will be running a sale this Valentine’s Day but not because we’re some greedy corporation, but because we’re a small business who chose to see the good that exists every Valentine’s Day.
We want to show you our appreciation, and help create a more sustainable Valentine’s Day for everyone.SHOP THE VALENTINE'S COLLECTION