6 Tips for Having a Sustainable Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is a day of passion. You either passionately love it... or you passionately hate it. 

I find that you typically fall into one of two camps. Either you're wearing red, white, pink, and passing out cards to all of your loved ones OR you've said, (exclaimed) "Valentine's Day is a scam invented by greeting card companies!" on more than one occasion. 

I am in the former group. I love Valentine's for a multitude of reasons like it's the only holiday where it's socially acceptable to express love through terrible puns. 

It's also a fairly low-key holiday in comparison to Thanksgiving and Christmas that still involves decoration and dressing up. 

And, last but not least, most of the gifts given and received are consumable gifts. Consumable gifts are my favorite types of gifts because they're consumed. They aren't going to stick around - think chocolate, wine, or flowers. Even though we don't eat flowers, they're consumed by the earth when you compost them. 

So, I've rounded up my top six tips to get you in the mood for a passionately sustainable Valentine's Day! 

1. Plant don't Pluck: 

I absolutely love flowers! But, it is kind of a bummer that they die. Instead of opting for the traditional plastic-free bouquet why not surprised your loved one with a house plant?

Or you can donate a tree planting in their honor. It's the gift that gives clean oxygen and will last for years to come. You can plant trees in someone's honor with the Arbor Day Foundation

2. Material Mindful: 

My favorite part of Valentine's day is the chocolate - obvs. One of the blog posts I'm looking most forward to writing is one all about chocolate because who doesn't want an excuse to go buy all the chocolate at the super market in the name of "research." 

My friend Celia has already started this process and I hope to follow suit. You can read her post here

When I'm buying chocolate, I always look for the Fair Trade Certification. Other certifications to look for are Organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified. 

Then I'm looking at the packaging and try to opt for chocolate wrapped in foil and paper so it's both recyclable and compostable. 

Of course, if you're feeling extra adventurous try your hand at making your own truffles! 

3. Keep it Consumable: 

While most Valentine's Day Gifts are consumable, there's always a stray teddy bear or balloon. 

If you're shopping for someone this holiday, try to keep it to consumable gifts only! There are so many consumable gift options like wine, food, sweets, the list goes on.

I've received a basket of cookies and an edible arrangement full of chocolate covered strawberries. So delicious, and I'm not left with a teddy I'll have to kon-mari next year.

Heck, I would even take a pizza delivery! That would be an AMAZING Valentine's Day gift. Just don't forget to compost your pizza boxes. 

4. Take it Out: 

Instead of buying something for your friends or loved one's maybe take them out? Experience gifts are some of my favorite gifts to give and receive.

Here's a few of my favorite experience gift ideas for everyone on your list: 

  • coffee
  • manicures
  • breakfast
  • dinner
  • movie

5. Be Hands On: 

You could also get creative when it comes to making gifts like lip balm, body scrubs, or even bath salts. 

I used to have a tradition every year where I made all of my Valentine cards! It was so much fun to create a little something for each of my friends. 

I don't think gifts have to be big or crazy. Sometimes, a nice handwritten note, telling your loved one's how you feel is the most special gift of all. Maybe sit down and spend some time writing this holiday.

6. Imbibe: 

Sometimes, my husband and I will grab a bottle of wine for date night. It's nice to pick up a bottle of local wine, put all of the electronics in the other room, and just enjoy each other's company. 

I definitely have an advantage living near Napa on this one, but the bottle is made of glass so it can be recycled! Maybe look for a local winery near you, and spend some time just chatting and spending time together. 

Bonus points if you make some brownies or cookies to snack on while you imbibe. 

How will you be celebrating your Valentine's this year?