I love giving gifts on Valentine’s Day. Even though Valentine’s Day is considered a “capitalist” holiday, I still love it! If you have a romantic partner or not, Valentine’s Day is just so fun and beautiful. It’s the perfect opportunity to practice self love. No matter if you’re shopping for friends, family, a romantic partner, or yourself, the gifts you buy can sometimes have consequences for the environment. That is why this Valentine’s day, we’re looking at the most popular gifts and putting a sustainable twist on them. It’s never too early to start thinking about what gifts you’re going to buy. Let’s get started!
No matter if you’re treating a partner or friend for Valentine’s Day, a card is an essential part of gift-giving.Yet, cards are often read then tossed into the landfills, and recycled only if we’re lucky. Thankfully, we can always find alternatives! One of my favorites are cards made of biodegradable seed paper that grow beautiful flowers when placed in a pot and watered.
Not only do you get a cute card, but you get flowers with it! My only advice is to ensure that the seeds in your biodegradable paper are local and not invasive, depending on where you plan on potting them.
One thing about this sustainable alternative is that you can choose to buy these cards, or make them yourself! Using biodegradable seed paper can be customizable, eco-friendly, and provide flowers as well. Honestly, I don’t know why this isn’t the norm!
When you say Valentine’s Day, the first gift that often comes to mind is a box of chocolates. Despite all of its health benefits, chocolate can be one of the least eco-friendly foodstuffs that we could eat. Chocolate is linked to deforestation, child labor, and cocoa farmers are usually paid less than $1 a day. On a brighter note, there are lots of ethical chocolate brands out there for those with a sweet tooth. Keep in mind these brands land on the more expensive side. If you were curious how your favorite chocolate brands or retailers rank in terms of human rights and sustainability, check these infographics below!
I am honestly a sucker for flowers, and that’s not just for Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately for me, buying bouquets of flowers is just not sustainable. Much like chocolates, buying flowers has its own huge carbon footprint and human rights issues that need to be addressed. Flower arrangements are connected to high water usage, pesticide pollution, labor inequality, and excessive plastic waste.
To remedy this, I recommend giving a house plant as a gift instead! House plants can be placed in a cute Valentine’s themed pot (which you can decorate with your friend or partner), and the best part is they won’t be dead in a few weeks! I personally think a house plant is a perfect flower arrangement alternative because every time you take care of that plant (pruning, watering, etc) you can think of the person who gave it to you! I always feel guilty when flowers that were gifted to me need to be thrown away, so this is a perfect alternative for me. There are tons of beautiful house plants, so don’t stress about your present not being pretty enough!
Candles ride very high on my list of favorite things. There is just something so relaxing about lighting a candle when you come home from school or work to wind down. However, candles made from paraffin wax are pretty awful for the environment. Since paraffin wax is made from petroleum, it requires invasive machinery to mine and collect.
Did you know petroleum is not a renewable resource?!
To make up for this, I recommend buying candles made from beeswax, coconut wax, or soy wax. Not only are these alternatives more sustainable and eco-friendly, but they cause less harm to you as well.
While jewelry may seem like a safe gift to give someone you love on Valentines’, it can actually come with consequences for the environment. Mined gemstones or diamonds have the most detrimental effects on our ecosystem. This includes the leakage of chemicals, biodiversity loss, and land erosion. In fact, smelting, the process of removing impurities from a metal or diamond, is responsible for releasing 142 million tons of sulfur dioxide every YEAR. That equals to 13% of global emissions! Additionally, resin or plastic jewelry will be here long after we will.
The alternative? A biodegradable, environmentally friendly accessory! Look no further than Mo.Na Gems. Mo.Na Gems is an accessory company that provides 100% biodegradable options, which will leave a minimal carbon footprint. Not only are they wonderful for the environment, but they are SO adorable!
So, if you are looking for the perfect, eco-friendly gift option this Valentine’s Day, Mo.Na Gems is the way to go.
I have a few pairs myself, and to say I’m obsessed is an understatement. They are lightweight, don’t irritate my sensitive skin, and I get SOOO many compliments. I could not recommend them enough. Save the planet in style!