The-Naturals_Valentines
Eco Living

Love is in the air! Sustainable Valentines Gift Guide

Sustainable gift-giving is a huge thing. Unfortunately, the art of giving is often confused with consuming, and most consuming isn’t done sustainably. Many fear celebrations such as Valentine’s Day and point their fingers at brands for commercialising the day. However, I invite you to regain control. Don’t focus on consumerism; focus on adapting and celebrating your way. 

 

Consume responsibly and do your research. 

 

It all starts with research. First, know what the person you are gifting likes, and then look for more sustainable and eco-friendly options. For example, if someone likes hair or skincare, consider finding a brand that makes cruelty free, fair trade, vegan products rather than one of the big brands. And remember, local is best. Buying local helps the local economy and minimises carbon dioxide emissions due to shipping and handling. 

Once you know what you are looking for, it is easier to research, read reviews, learn the production process and understand where considerations are taken to make the product more sustainable. Or, opt for making a gift or living an experience instead. Nothing says I love you like a homemade cake and a picnic. 

 

Things that say, “I love you.” and don’t cost anything 

  • Cooking together 
  • A walk in the park, beach, or favourite spot
  • Stargazing 
  • Romantic picnic
  • A kiss on the forehead 
  • Quality time together, away from your phone

 

Okay, now that we have established you don’t necessarily have to buy anything, let’s talk about tangible gifts if you want to show love by buying something instead, which is a form of love language and totally acceptable. 

This ‘gift guide’ is a compilation of MY favourites. 

Again, I am not endorsing, getting paid, promoting or affiliating. 

When it comes to finding sustainable products, I look at corporate responsibility, fair trade, Carbon offsetting, recyclable materials, cruelty-free, natural when possible. 

 

Lush Cosmetics New Solid Shampoo, Snow Fairy Body Conditioner or any divine smelling soaps. They also have some very cute thematic products for Valentine’s. Lush supports Fair Trade and Community Trade initiatives, working to buy directly from the source and considering workers’ rights, environmental safety, animal protection, and transport with the purchase of each ingredient. According to lush, their pots and bottles are made with 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic, saving about 65 tons of Carbon Dioxide and 90 tonnes of virgin plastic, or 800 barrels of oil, each year. In addition, carrier bags are made with 100% post-consumer recycled paper, saving 100 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide each year. 

 

ARTICLE22 Custom Engraved ID Tag. Each piece gives back to support traditional Laotian artisan livelihoods, village development, community endeavours and further de-mining efforts. They also claim your purchase contributes to MAG (Mines Advisory Group) to safely & expertly clear some of the 80 million unexploded bombs contaminating land in Laos. ARTICLE22’s environment rating is ‘good’. It uses a high proportion of eco-friendly materials, including recycled materials and makes products by hand to reduce climate impact. They also use eco-friendly materials that limit the number of chemicals, water and wastewater used in production.

 

FEED Handbags with a mission. Each of their products gifts part of its profits to feed kids in underdeveloped countries. Each bag will tell you how many kids can get meals, thanks to your purchase. From Kenya to India, they work with artisans for a growing number of collections. Through the sale of their artisan-made products, they provide meals and sustainable livelihoods for their artisan partners and their families.

 

A beautiful house plant. Can’t ever go wrong with some greenery. Certain house plants act as a natural filter to indoor pollution. In fact, NASA-conducted research into the power of plants indoors found over 50 houseplant types that remove pollutants and gases. Some of my favourites include Calatheas, Monsteras, Philodendrons, Snake Plants (easy care) and Aloe Vera. Find out with your local plant shop, sometimes they can find a plant if you request it in advance. 

 

Chocolates? Opt for a Fairtrade and B-Corp brand like Tony’s Chocolonely‘s. Not only are they tasty, but you can create your own custom chocolate wrapper for the one you love and personalise the whole experience, but Tony’s chocolates are determined to protect cocoa farmers. They have a strong social mission focused on ending modern slavery and child labour on cocoa farms in West Africa. The cocoa farmers they work with are affiliated with partner cooperatives, which comprise Kapatchiva, Ecojad and ECAM in the Ivory Coast and ABOCFA, Asetenapa and Asunafo in Ghana.

Other awesome, less tangible gifts

Clean air: https://climeworks.com they have modular CO₂ collector machines powered by solar energy that extract CO2 from the air – say what! I mean geeking over here. You can clean the air in someone’s name by buying a gift package. Visit their website; they have different gift options. They promise to put the money like a donation toward carbon offsetting. Gifts start at 25 euros and go up to 85 euros, so there’s something for each budget. 

 

Gift a Tree that lives at a farm with Treedom. You don’t get a physical tree to take home, but you get a detailed description and photos of the tree you decide to gift. This tree then grows in an underdeveloped country farm, contributing to the local economy and development of the community.  

 

Want to learn more? Listen to the GreenCast Word Podcast episode “Sustainable Valentine’s” out today on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Podcast and Youtube, where Ana C and I talk more about ways in which you can celebrate Valentine’s guilt-free. 

Do what you can. Any effort is better than no effort at all. 

~`xoxo

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