Feb 11, 2020
The best gift you can give this Valentine’s Day, when taking into consideration the impact on the environment, is the gift of nothing at all. That being said, if you feel passionately about treating your special someone, there are a number of eco-friendlier alternatives to consider.
Instead of buying flowers, which are often wrapped in plastic packaging and ultimately do not last for much longer than a week, why not consider a longer-term option? If you are limited for outdoor space, why not gift a house plant, or if you have lots of room you could plant flowers or a tree together in your garden. Another idea could be to dedicate a tree in your loved ones name. The Heart of England Forest run a scheme where you can do just that. Other ideas include adopting an animal, volunteering, donating to a charity or an environmental initiative.
Another sustainable swap to consider is gifting an experience rather than a material item. What could be more romantic than giving the gift of spending time together? Whether it be going for a walk with a picnic (not forgetting to leave only your footprints en-route!), going to see a show or relaxing at a spa, the possibilities are endless.
Valentine's is also a time to get crafty. You could put together a playlist of your loved ones favourite songs, create a slideshow of photo memories or even bake them a cake.
Eating in or out
On the subject of food, why not cook a meal together using produce from your local butcher, fishmonger and greengrocer?
Often food from these places have minimal packaging and you are supporting the local economy at the same time, as well as controlling quantities to limit food waste. Alternatively, independent eateries are another good shout if you do want to go out for the evening.
If you prefer the traditional approach of sending a card to your loved one, why not consider Hallmarks’ collection in collaboration with James Cropper. The two companies have joined together to produce cards made from a combination of recycled disposable coffee cups and responsibly sourced paper pulp, all of which are created, designed and printed in the UK. You can view the collection here.
recycle-more founders, Valpak Limited, work closely with James Cropper as part of the National Cup Recycling Scheme.
Plastic free gifts
Last but not least, if you really do want to treat them to a physical gift, there are plenty of plastic free ideas, some of which I've listed in previous Blogs:
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this weblog represent those of the author, Louise Tompkinson, and are not those of recycle-more, Valpak Limited or any other organisation.