Eco-friendly last minute gifts for Valentine’s Day

We all want Valentine’s Day to leave a lasting mark on the heart of our beloved. But with today’s throw-away culture, how do we ensure our carefully selected gift doesn’t come with a big environmental footprint?

With sustainability increasingly a priority for many of us, you can show your valentine that you love the environment, just as much as you treasure them.

If you’re prone to leaving things to the last minute, don’t be tempted to rush out and spend big on a last-minute present that may not be appreciated. Buying a gift for the sake of it is not only a waste of your own money, but also the item itself, along with the resources that went into its manufacture and transportation.

The gift of time can be just as special as a physical gift and will leave a more memorable impact beyond the celebration of just one day.

We’ve put together some simple last-minute ideas to help make this Valentine’s Day your most memorable yet.

Sustainable gift giving this Valentine’s Day

  1. Write a letter to your beloved. Love letters are one of the most enduring romantic gestures and taking the time to write down your feelings will surely spark joy. Something that is hand written can show you have taken time and effort to consider.
  2. Create a virtual time capsule of your life together now. It takes just minutes to set up an email account that you can both send special messages to, save photos and memories as your relationship grows. A virtual time capsule is a present that you can both continue to add to over time and will last well beyond Valentine’s Day.
  3. Book an experience together. Consider an activity that you have long discussed doing together ‘one day’. Or surprise your loved one with a new adventurous idea. These are the gifts that give twice – first on the day when it’s received, and then again when the experience is enjoyed. They not only create lasting memories, but can be paperless if purchased online and don’t even require wrapping!
  4. Give flora that will last. Flowers are always appreciated, but consider gifting a pot plant. This can be cared for over time and will remind your sweetheart of your love each and every day. Look for stylish indoor plants like monstera or pothos, which both have heart-shaped leaves, to really drive the message home.
  5. Express your affection by cooking or baking. Spending some time in the kitchen to bake a cake or cook a special meal will show your love more than a hectic dash to a shopping centre. Check out the great recipes ideas from Love Food Hate Waste.
  6. Stay in and have a picnic. It might be too late to book a prime table at a popular restaurant for dinner, but a picnic in the backyard, on the balcony or even the living room floor can be just as romantic. Turn down the lights, grab a few goodies to enjoy together or keep it simple to avoid unnecessary waste.
  7. Wrap thoughtfully. Balloons, glitter and cellophane are all eye catching, but not particularly great for the environment of wildlife if they end up in landfill. The Japanese art of furoshiki uses fabric to wrap gifts with a series of knots and folds in the fabric. A brightly printed tea towel is a great size to wrap many presents and can become part of the gift itself. You could also wrap your gift thoughtfully with recycled wrapping paper, using natural decorative trims like fresh or dried flowers, or simply use plain paper and write your love messages all over it.
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