TIPS TO CELEBRATE LOVE WITH ECO-CONSCIOUS GIFT IDEAS
The day of Love, commercially known as St Valentine’s Day will soon be making its annual appearance but have you ever considered it’s impact on the environment? Not only does Valentine’s Day hold an over-commercialised place in the calendar but contributes to a shocking environmental impact on our planet.
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Before I introduce you to some hand picked eco-conscious gifting options, have a read of these facts about how the environment is affected by Valentine’s day and the waste contributing to landfill.
Last year UK Shoppers bought in the excess of 20 million Valentines cards, a lot of which, were just discarded.
Tip: Try and recycle your old cards if you’re not sentimental or prefer to be minimalist. Select cards which have recyclable packaging instead of the regular cellophane.
The cheaper latex balloons are biodegradable, however they can still take between 4 and 6 years to break down, whereas foil balloons are not biodegradable at all.
Tip: When it comes to helium balloons it’s best to throw them away before releasing them as when they eventually do come down, they are harmful, especially on beaches and grasslands, impacting on the safety and health of wildlife.
There’s a large disparity between the time flowers spend time on your windowsill than in landfill. It is best to compost flowers before they dry out totally so the plant’s cells are more active and therefor convert the nitrogen to decompose faster. Removing the stalks can also accelerate decomposing.
Tip: If you do buy fresh bouquets, ensure they are bought locally, and hand tied with string and wrapped in paper rather than cellophane packaging. Plotted plants make good sustainable alternatives to cut fresh flowers. Or even try drying your own bouquet by hanging upside down for 2-3 weeks,
Flowerworks florist based in Leicester City Centre, have a great sustainability ethos with their packaging and hand tied bouquets.
The sweet delights are undeniable delicious, but we can’t say the same about the packaging they come in! A box of chocolates typically has recyclable and un-recyclable packing components, so the key here is to separate these out.
Tip: The cardboard boxes and paper lining can be recycled, whilst the outer film is not. Clear plastic inner trays can be recycled whilst the black ones can’t.
Cocoa Amore, a Leicester-based and online chocolatier ensure all their cardboard is recyclable as well as much of their paper packaging. They are also continually working to ensure that their social responsibility and sustainability efforts are a priority.
The novelty of wrapping tends to wear off as soon as we’ve unwrapped the gift and after that the packaging spends much of its life in landfill.
Tip: Some councils accept non-foil based wrapping papers for recycling, My personal favourite is to wrap in cotton fabrics that are in excess around the house by adding ribbons from the sewing box. There is also the option of scoping out wrapping paper made entirely from consumer waste and printed with environmentally friendly inks. It’s amazing what you’ll find on the internet!
Eco-Conscious Gift Ideas
If like me you find Valentine’s day a little cringey and prefer to celebrate love all year round, then check out some personally picked Eco-friendly options below. These can be used use beyond ‘one’ throw-away day!
Mens Eco-Friendly Vegan Grooming Kit
Treat the man in your life with this stylish and sustainable home spa idea.
Three Month Indian Restaurant Favourites Subscription
The perfect way to recreate date nights at home with this subscription of curry house favourites.
‘Home Sanctuary’ Personalised Vegan Organic Spa Gift
Treat the lady in your life to this beautiful and unique sustainable Spa experience to enjoy some ‘me’ time at home.
Cotton Jute Shopping Bag
Colourful sustainable style, this bag is made from recycled rags and can team up as a beautiful beach bag too.
Online Self Sufficient Vegetable Gardening Course for One in a Virtual Classroom
Everything you need to know about self-sufficient gardening in this online course, which reveals all the tips and tricks to growing your own veg.
Luxury One Night Stay with Dinner and Fizz for Two
With over 23 locations to choose from, treat yourself and your love to a night, and dinner in a beautifully stylish luxury staycation.
Online Vegan and Plant Based Cookery Course for One with an Expert
Learn how to prepare and execute restaurant quality vegan and plant-based food with an expert in your own kitchen. Personal assignments and marked assignments from Kirk Haworth.
Grow Your Own Sustainable Edible Insects Starter Box
One for the adventurous couple, learn how to grow your own edible insects for an endless supply of protein. Bugs are the way of the future! An interest one to share with the love of your life!
I hope this post has helped highlight some of the problems of over-commercialisation on Valentine’s Day and has given you some tips on how you can do your bit to reduce the carbon footprint and source gift ideas to celebrate love ethically.