15 Ethical and Sustainable Valentine's Day Gifts

Have I mentioned that Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday?

Most people send out Christmas Cards, but I like to send out VDay cards. My Valentine's tradition has been handmaking cards to let everyone know how much I care about them.

I LOVE heart-themed everything, red, pink, cards, flowers, but I especially love that expressing your love through groan-worthy puns is socially acceptable for at least one day a year. 

Now, I know that a lot of people aren't a fan of the holiday citing mass consumerism and being forced to show tokens of affection on a certain day yaddy-yaddy-baby-yoda. 

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But, hear me out. 

I think Valentine's is a wonderful reminder to show endearment towards those closest to you. It's just a nice day to reach out to friends, family, your SO, and even yourself to check-in and practice gratitude.

I think even the biggest VDay curmudgeons can muster up a few nice words for loved ones, yeah? 

And, if you need a little more convincing, then you've got to check out all of the VDay inspired items that certainly brought a smile to my face. 

a journal:

My husband and I write love letters to each other every year in an old notebook. We started this tradition on our one month dating anniversary so we have a BUNCH of letters spanning the almost decade we've been together. 

It's been amazing to see how our relationship has progressed. Our doodles, notes, and expressions of love, sadness, and challenges we've overcome is really amazing. 

The notebook also details dates we've been on and our "couples bucket list" we make on our anniversary. Each year we write down fun things we want to do together, and try to accomplish everything on the list!

It's such a special little memento, and I'd highly encourage you to pick up the practice! You can kick it off this Valentine's Day with this gorgeous notebook.

It features tree⁃free paper and is handcrafted by artisans working with fair trade partners from Noah's Ark.

dryer balls:

Have a loved one that does all your laundry? I'm so lucky that my husband does all of my laundry. He buys the eco-friendly laundry detergent, washes with cold water, and hangs all of our duds up to dry on the line. 

I am one lucky lady! I have to put all of my laundry away, but still feel like I hit the jackpot. 

If your mom, dad, husband, wife, roommate, whoever does your laundry on the reg write them a note letting them know how much you appreciate it and get them some heart-themed dryer balls which will let them know how thankful you are with every load.

beeswax wraps:

One of the best ways to encourage friends and family to live more sustainable is to gift them a few items to kick-start their interest in plastic-free living. 

Many people are scared to make that first swap. If you can show them that the first swap is fun, will save them money, and be just as effective as it's wasteful counterpart, you'll get them hooked! 

A great zero-waste beginner swap is beeswax wraps. These wraps from Etsy are extra festive as they're made with hearts and use organic beeswax! 

a scarf:

This lightweight scarf is hand-printed in Oregon. It uses red cursive to share e. e. cummings 'i carry your heart with me' poem.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
How cute is that!? Perfect for the bibliophile, poet, or fashionista in your life. 

 

 

pajamas:

Every year for Valentine's my mom would get me a t-shirt or sleep shorts! I still love heart sleepwear whether it's VDay or Thanksgiving.

I have an older version of this Lonely Hearts sleep set, but with rainbow hearts and I LOVE it! Lonely Hearts is ethically made in NYC using deadstock fabric (fabric that would otherwise go to landfill) as well as sustainable materials like organic cotton. 

Check out this cute cozy set perfect for every night. 

socks:

I love cozy socks! Being a big penguin fan, it's pretty much guaranteed that I will get AT LEAST one pair of penguin socks during a calendar year. 

I'm totally fine with that because I LOVE my penguin socks. My feet are always cold and I tend to wear socks instead of slippers.

If you're like me then you've got to check out Thought's sock collection

earrings: 

I love these little mother of pearl studs. While they're definitely heart jewelry, I can see myself wanting to wear them all year long. The hearts are subtle and the mother of pearl is perfect for any ocean lover. 

Every piece is handmade in Berkeley, CA and a lot of the collection uses recycled and upcycled metals. 

necklace:

My mom and I both have necklaces with small sterling silver hearts. I love wearing that necklace. 

Similarly, I think this heart necklace is perfect for stacking and admirably subtle. As a bonus, it's from one of my favorite ethical jewelry retailers Luna & Rose. 

They have an entirely closed-loop production system meaning they have zero waste from any of their collections.

Their pieces are made from recycled sterling silver (so hard to find!) and gold. They also participate in 1% For the Planet, which is a global movement that connects businesses, consumers & non-profits committed to addressing the pressing issues facing the planet. 

As a partner to 1% For the Planet, Luna & Rose are taking responsibility and pledged to donate at least 1% of their annual sales to charities that give back to the environment.

If you're still feeling stumped here are a few of the other favorites I've found from around the web! From left to right, top to bottom. 

  • I think this garland is so fun and festive! It's handcrafted and fairtrade. 
  • While this might not be heart-themed, it's certainly speaking my love language - pizza! Whip your sweetie up a heartshaped pie and dine by candlelight. 
  • This speckled necktie was knit using recycled materials. It can easily go from festive to everyday workwear. 
  • This gardening tool might outlive all your loved ones. This heart-shaped spade was hand-forged by a century-old Dutch family business.
  • I don't know why, but I'm in love with this heart-shaped hot water bottle so you can remember that someone loves you when you're recovering from any aches and pains. 
  • If you're not into handmade cards, there's a bunch of cute ones that are made from recycled materials! Check out the selection at Earth Hero and 10,000 Villages.