Love and Waste
Valentines Day is forever linked with cut roses and giant red boxes of chocolate thanks to some savvy marketing teams from long ago. That said, there are good reasons to let go of these old tropes and make way for new traditions. There are loads of easy, cheap, and more considerate ways to express your affections than buying a mass marketed product.
Outside The Box!
To show someone your love, you need to think outside of the box - literally. Chocolates, while great in the moment, last forever in landfills and (let’s face it) on the waistline. That giant faux velvet box can’t be recycled, and neither can the interior plastic cups.
Consider buying Fair Trade and Rainforest Friendly chocolate bars that have far less packaging waste, and also help our planet or support a cause. Create a bouquet of bars or fill a reusable bag, pretty bowl, or keepsake box. The chocolate will last longer, does some good for your community, and reduces waste. Try adding unusual flavors and different types of chocolate, or non-traditional goodies like hot cocoas or pre-made brownies!
Roses… So Basic!
While cut roses and elaborate bouquets are a standard and make a statement, what exactly is the statement? “ I am capable of calling a florist”… “I am capable of stopping at the grocery store.” Try a potted version that could have a second life in their garden. Maybe eco-friendly seed bombs that you toss randomly either in your yard or on road trips together. Perhaps a tree planted in their name through an organization or local park. The U.S. National Forest offers a simple dedicated tree for only $9.99, some organizations are as low as a dollar per tree!
Only Wine Will Do!
There are many great options in the organic and green realms that should be considered, like wine, wine, or wine. Does the term ‘natural wine” mean anything to you? I hadn’t heard of it either, but it refers to organic, biodynamic, or zero carbon footprint wines. I am willing to do research on this topic and get back to you with reviews later. In the meantime, here are some highly regarded eco-friendly wineries. Pair it with some locally crafted cheese or local artist made wine goblets for just the two of you.
Gifts With Purpose
There are some great organizations out there whose products support a mission. Want to buy something that will clean oceans or support women owned businesses or animal shelters? Try some of these options.
Scattered around your town I can guarantee there are makers and artists galore willing to create something magical and one of a kind for your Valentine. Many will specialize in eco friendly products as well, but the lack of long distance shipping, plus the benefits of supporting your local community really pays off. Most towns have an art district that is easy to search and discover new and interesting talent within. Some shops even specialize in supporting local artists.
Even if you don’t think of yourself as the creative type, there is plenty you can make for your Valentine. Write down a good memory the two of you shared, or make a list of their best qualities and what you love about them. Create a photo collage or a Gif just for them. Make your own coupon book filled with things you know they love. Hand over a potted herb plant with a promise to make them dinner. These gifts don’t have to cost a lot or be perfect, they are special because they are homemade and from the heart!
Give Them Your Time
Let’s be honest, what makes the best memories is never a thing, but rather something you experience together. Plan a day trip to a museum or hike a local trail. Enjoy some pampering with a massage or a facial together. Do some research for hidden gems in your area that they may not have been to yet. Spend a day together at an animal shelter petting dogs and cats or volunteering at a food bank. Giving of yourself and your time, truly is the best gift of all!
Written by Shannon Kawalec