Celebrating love does not have to be limited to a day, week, or even a month. And yet, there is no reason to shy away from celebrating it on any day that feels special. Every Valentine’s day, the shops are filled with gift options that you can present to the people in your life that you want to feel loved.
Unfortunately, most of these gifts are the kind that, at the end of their short shelf-life, will find themselves adding to the landfill and destined to sit there for years to come. So, should you stop gifting? Giving gifts is a language of love. It is a way some people understand the expression of love. If the people in your life speak this language, you should not have to stop yourself from expressing your love towards them.
If you consider yourself environmentally conscious or prefer to keep it as minimal as possible, you can choose to gift sustainably. Sustainable, eco-friendly gifting does not have to be ‘boring’. Instead, you can make a responsible choice that your loved ones will also appreciate. Here are some options to help you out with sustainable Valentine’s Day gifting.
No, a single plant on your window or on your balcony is not going to save the planet. But it can help your mental health and inspire some joy and positivity into your day. Several studies have noticed a positive correlation between indoor or outdoor green spaces and our health. According to a 2015 paper, if you actively engage in regular interaction with indoor plants, it may help reduce stress and make you feel comforted.
So, whether your partner is a ‘parent’ to many plants or hasn’t had to take care of any yet, a plant can be a gesture to say how you care. For beginners, choose something easy to take care of, such as succulents, spider plants, pothos, or money plants.
Taking on an upcycling project can be a gift for two. Does your partner, or do you, have something old yet nostalgically precious lying around? Or something that either of you simply cannot seem to declutter? You can take the old, and with some basic peripherals and a lot of smart efforts, turn it into something new-like and useful.
- Local Specialities
We often take our surroundings for granted. Whether you’ve settled into a new place or spent all your life in the same area, whether you live in a small village or crowded city, it is possible that there is an experience you are (or your S.O.) is yet to experience. Take this opportunity to indulge in the yet undiscovered. This could mean that you shop from the local craftsmen or farmers, go on a walk to experience the morning air, or dine at an eatery you pass by but never walked into. If these experiences add to the character of your locality, make them a part of your special day.
- Sustainable Staples
Occasions like Valentine’s Day see a lot of the same gifts in rotation each year. The list of usual suspects includes chocolates, stuffed toys, flowers, wine, candles, and more. If you or your partner thinks that these staples are a must and add to the occasion, then try to switch to more sustainable options wherever you can. For example, there are a number of fair-trade, sustainable chocolates you can buy from. Similarly, you can choose sustainable wines or clean candles. If you are skilled at it, you can also make these at home.
While there is little you can do when it comes to finding sustainable or clean stuffed toys, make an effort to ensure that all that you bring into your house finds a place for as long as possible. And when it is time to bid adieu, try to donate, recycle, or dispose of responsibly.
For most people, it has been a long time since you wrote to someone. If you miss that feeling or know that your partner does, take this opportunity to write to them. Even if you live in the same house, written words can weave a magical spell that can make your day more special. While it is common to gift cards, they can rarely be made as personal as a card made by you or a letter your write. Wipe the dust off of your craft supplies, get some recycled, handmade paper and let your creative juices flow.
Aside from adding to your carbon footprint, a regular vacation can be heavier on the pocket and impractical if you cannot afford to extend the celebration for more than a day or two. Instead, opt for a staycation by amping up the comfort levels in your house. Plan your day in a way that you don’t have to worry about your daily chores, and can spend your time doing something you both like.
Trying to lead an environmentally-responsible life does not have to mean giving up on the little joys of life. Instead, it is an opportunity to break away from the usual and find what you like better. This Valentine’s Day, choose gifts that are thoughtful, appreciated, and not harmful to the environment.
These tips should serve as an inspiration. What are your eco-friendly Valentine’s Day plans? Or do you find the day overrated?
I am a simple writer who wishes to use her skill to create more awareness about the planet that offers us life.