There are many commercialised days in the calendar these days and we’re often left wondering what to do, do we go with it and feed the monster (!) or do we risk upsetting our loved ones by not taking part; if you’re not sure what to do, then I’ve got some easy eco Valentine’s gifting ideas to help you decide. There are ways of making sure we tell our loved ones how much they mean to us without buying loads of unwanted gifts and/or spending no or little money.
No spend eco gift ideas
No spend gifts can be just as good as expensive gifts, especially if you really know your loved one and can tune in to what they really care about. So here are some of my favourite no spend gift ideas:
- The gift of time – gift your time, offer some vouchers for redeeming, whether that’s offering to do the jobs your loved never finds time for or doesn’t want to do around the house, maybe walking the dog or putting the bins out for a month, or it might be making sure they have an uninterrupted hour to do anything they like whilst you look after the kids or the dog and everything else, so they can enjoy some relaxation time
- Plan a date night – whether it’s cooking a favourite meal, a TV evening, or an indoor picnic, plan something thoughtful, add some cosy throws and cushions and candles for a lovely cosy date
- Plan a trip – a day out doesn’t need to cost any money, go local, find some local places to visit, maybe a favourite park, museum, walk and take food and snacks with you to keep the cost low
- Look out for free entry to art galleries, event spaces and other venues, often there are lots of free local things to do which you can tailor to suit your loved one
- Make something – food can be a lovely gift and there are loads of free recipes for biscuits, chocolates, fudge, jam and chutneys which all make gorgeous gifts, save jars to gift in and just add your own decoration to them to personalise, if you love crafting or making, then any gift you make personally will be well received, from knitting to woodworking, the choices are endless
- Make your own card – cut out pictures from magazines or old cards, add photos and embellishments to personalise
Gift experiences and memberships
If you and your loved one are very mindful of looking after the planet and like to support organisations who do good work in the sustainable sector then you might like to buy a membership to somewhere like the National Trust, The Woodland Trust, your local Wildlife trust or RHS. We make a regular donation to the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, and love visiting their sites for walks with the dog.
They will keep you updated on what work they are doing as well as being able to access places to visit, so your gift will be useable all year round.
If you love to gift but are looking for something different, then buying an experience or gift vouchers towards an experience can be a really great idea. This allows the gift to be used at different times of the year when places might be quieter. There are lots of great deals out there for local and national experiences, from food experiences, beauty, spa, driving, gym, to cinema and theatre ones, plus the thrill seeking ones and family experiences, so that the whole family can join in.
Alternative gift ideas
There are a whole host of unusual gift ideas that your loved might well prefer to physical gifts, making charitable donations, tree planting schemes and animal sponsorship are just some lovely ways to celebrate special occasions without buying a physical gift.
Physical easy eco Valentine’s gifting
Physical don’t need to be a ‘no go’ for eco friendly gifting, as there are lots more great options out there. I always advise to get something you know your loved will use and enjoy, if you’re not sure, it’s always best to ask. Give your loved one our wish list, that way they can add some things they’d really like for you to choose from! So many unwanted gifts end up in landfill each year.
- Flowers are a lovely gift to give and receive, but aren’t always very sustainable, so go local, chat with your local florist about locally grown flowers and plastic free packaging, if you’re a keen gardener or know someone who is, you might have some lovely flowers growing in your pots, garden or allotment, that you could tie into a lovely handed bouquet
- Gift a plant – plants are great gifts, long-lasting and great for any sized home or garden, chat to your local plant shop about what would be the perfect plant for your loved one, sometimes you can get unusual plants which are fun to gift. We love our local shop Fern and Ivy for buying plants.
- Candles are a lovely gift – make sure they’re natural, soy wax is one of the cleanest and most eco friendly waxes to buy, we stock a gorgeous range from Hazel and Blue. There are also recycled candles, a particular favourite of mine is the Recycled Candles company, as they will recycle pretty much any type of candle including birthday cake candles and tea lights.
- Jewellery is also a lovey gift to give any loved one – there are so many small businesses making jewellery using recycled materials, you also get something completely unique when you buy one of these pieces too. We stock a lovely range in store by Alb Jewellery.
- Bath treats – bath salts, bath oils, soft cloths, soaps, bath bombs and more! They’re all great gifts to give a lovely pampering experience at home
- Stationery – we all love stationery, so a sustainable notebook and accessories can be a great gift
- Mindfulness and well being gifts – thoughtful gifts to aid rest, relaxation and well being can be wonderful gifts to give. Often these are gifts we won’t buy for ourselves as we don’t always prioritise this, so they make great gifts
- Preloved – it might be controversial for some, however, I think that gifting preloved is totally fine, charity shops often have items with are brand new, so if you don’t want to go full preloved gifting, you could try buying something which is new from a preloved shop!
Cards and wrapping
- Make your own cards as outlined earlier
- Buy recycled or FSC cards
- Plantable cards are great for a card and gift in one without waste!
- Turn old wrapping paper into gift bags using online tutorials
- Use reusable fabric wrapping
- If buying new, buy recycled or FSC paper and paper tape or string
We hope that you’ve found our easy eco Valentine’s gifting ideas useful! We’d love to hear from you too, if you have tried any ideas or have some new ones to share, then get in touch!