Lucky for us, eco friendly Valentine’s Day gift ideas are in no short supply these days. From DIY and making your own gifts to supporting local businesses to just having a nice dinner at home, you’ve got a lot of options.
I’ve scoured the internet looking for the best ideas to make it the best Valentine’s Day ever…I’ve got a round up of some super awesome ideas that most any eco friendly minded person will love and appreciate.
And truthfully, I’d much rather receive a gift I’ll use than one that will just collect dust. I feel like so much of gift giving has turned to buy something just to buy something, ok stepping down off the soapbox.
Bake a Treat
Not all of us are Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker but if you have kids, this would be a fun activity to engage them in. Bake a cake or some cookies and have some fun with it.
What screams Valentine’s Day more than red velvet cake or cupcakes? I’m no fan of artificial dyes so opt for a natural dye like one from Watkins. You can easily find it at most grocery stores or buy it right here.
If you’ve never used artificial free dyes, the final product tends to be more muted, less robust in color but comes without all the nasty chemicals.
You could also use beet powder or beet juice. I’d recommend following a recipe that specifically includes those for baking consistency purposes.
I have several ideas over on my Pinterest Valentine’s Day Board.
RELATED: Dye Free Decorating
Support a Small Business
Small businesses make our economy go round. From local brick and mortar spots to businesses all over the world via the internet, there is so much to choose from.
My husband is a big sports guy but he also loves his coffee. Knowing that, I can hit up Etsy to find some fun and unique gifts.
Don’t forget the local businesses though. I especially think of local restaurants. We have a local doughnut shop that I have been getting e-gift cards from recently and that works out really well.
No actual plastic card to use, the recipient can just pull it up on their phone which in turn means no plastic waste.
For kids it can be a bit of a tougher sell but for adults, it’s a lot easier. In the age of Groupon and Living Social and all the deal platforms, why not give an experience gift rather than a tangible gift?
What does your partner enjoy? Wine tasting, beer tasting, painting, learning to cook, going to a museum?
Or maybe even axe throwing? I would really love to do that sometime, hint to my husband if he’s reading this.
Anyone who knows me knows crafting is not in my wheelhouse but my daughter has always loved arts and crafts.
We frequently hit up Pinterest to search for crafts we can make from things we have around the house.
I’ve got a box I keep all sorts of things we accumulate that we can reuse, if you don’t have one, you should designate one.
Cut roses or flower arrangements are typically the go to flower for Valentines Day but how about a plant instead? It’ll last forever, unless you’re like me and are challenged when it comes to keeping plants alive.
Everyone needs house plants, they help improve indoor air quality and add some visual interest to your living space.
The best part is you can give it and the recipient just has to find a place for it. No digging required, now that is my preferred type of plant.
Just be sure if the recipient has pets, the plant isn’t toxic to animals.
Plant a Tree
Give the gift of a tree! I don’t mean you need to actually go out and plant a tree. I don’t know too much about growing trees but my guess is February isn’t the best month to plant one.
Treedom.net is an online platform where farmers in other countries get the finances (by way of gift givers) to plant trees on their land.
A farmer plants the tree on his or her land and you get to watch it grow. You even get to pick the type of tree you want to have planted.
If you’re going to give cards (really any time of year), make sure they are made from recycled materials.
An even better option is cards made from seed paper.
Seed paper is embedded with wildflower seeds so instead of throwing it in the trash, you can plant it in a pot or your garden and watch the flowers grow.
You can buy it or you can make it yourself.
Local Farm to Table Restaurant
Either dine in or take out, a meal from your local farm to table restaurant is sure to be more delicious and interesting than any chain restaurant. Plus, you’ll be supporting multiple local businesses.
If you need help finding one, Google ‘how to find a farm to table restaurant near me’.
Click here to find the best farm to table restaurant in your state (according to Travel + Leisure Magazine as of 2016).
Click here to find the best farm to table restaurant in your state (according to Eat This Not That as of 2016).
Make Dinner at Home
Making a nice dinner at home with high quality ingredients is totally under-rated. With the kids we like to do fondue but for just the two of us, we can plan a delicious meal and cook it together.
My husband is a great cook and I’m totally happy to clean up afterwards.
If we are super organized, we can plan ahead to have our Butcher Box shipment include steak and seafood and our Misfits Market shipment include the perfect vegetable and voila, all we need to do is pick up a nice bottle of wine.
Gifts that Give Back
I’m a big advocate of giving gifts that also support a charity.
Sometimes it’s hard to do for kids because, well, kids want the latest and greatest that everyone else has.
Giving these gifts to adults is a bit easier. What’s something that your partner loves? Coffee? Chocolate? Flowers? Handmade gifts?
I gave my husband some coffee from Grounds and Hounds for Christmas and we’re both loving it.
I secretly wanted to try it also so, it made us both happy.
RELATED: 11 Gifts that Give Back
Wrap it all Up
Once you choose the perfect gift, you’ve got to present it, right? Many online retailers I’ve ordered from recently use paper packaging inside the boxes rather than plastic.
Flatten that paper out, wrap up the gift and decorate the outside. Afterwards, you can recycle the paper.
Comment below with your favorite Valentine’s Day gift to receive.