I’ve never been the type of wife to make a big deal about Valentine’s Day, or even birthdays. A “Happy Valentine’s Day” and morning kiss from my husband and daughter are good enough for me. Plus, there’s the little fact that we do our best to show our love daily.
But if I were going to receive a gift, I’d wish for it to be something meaningful, useful and sustainable. These 5 gift ideas are great ways to show your loved ones you care, both for them and for the Earth:
Gift certificate for an organic spa
My hubby actually gave me one of these for my birthday, and we recently received another one for a couples’ massage from my mother-in-law. They are among the best gifts I’ve ever received. Like ever.
Why an organic spa? Well, if your sweetie is conscious about what they feed their skin, they’ll probably appreciate it if you take that into account with your gift giving. You don’t want them worrying about what parabens or other toxins might be in the products used at the spa.
Vintage, handmade and/or recycled jewelry
I’ll admit there’s a soft spot in my heart for baubles. Not the kind that feature blood diamonds from regions where children lose their hands, or worse, their lives, over a little bling. I’d much prefer vintage jewelry that has history and character, handmade jewelry made by people who take pride in their work, or pieces made of materials like recycled metals, reclaimed wood and other sustainable materials. Alex & Ani and Hovey Lee are among my favorite designers of green jewelry. If you take a stroll around your city’s downtown area, you can likely find pieces made by local artisans. And if there’s a Whole Foods nearby, they usually have a decent selection of handmade, Fair Trade pieces.
Homemade Dinner Lit with Soy Candles
Many people use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to splurge on dinner at a fancy restaurant. But honestly, I’d much rather have my husband or even myself cook a homemade dinner, preferably with local and/or organic ingredients, and have a quiet meal by soy candlelight. No point in ruining a great meal with toxic smoke from traditional candles made of paraffin (read: petroleum-based) wax.
Finally, add a mix of love songs from iTunes, and you’ve got yourself a baby-making beautiful night in store.
Like I said, I prefer useful gifts. Most people would immediately think of giving sexy sleepwear for this holiday. While this is a great idea for some folks, can I get some comfortable pajamas too? Besides, organic lingerie will likely end up one the floor (or strewn elsewhere…hee hee hee) before you can even enjoy it! And comfy organic PJs are kid-friendly gifts as well.
Walmart usually has a great selection of organic pajamas that are both comfortable and cute. I don’t know about you, but I’d love a pair or two to add to my collection, and I grabbed a few pairs for my daughter. (aff)
Ok, so this technically isn’t “green” in the traditional sense, but it certainly is less wasteful than random balloons or teddy bears covered in hearts. And if you find a babysitter who lives in walking distance or drives a hybrid, she’ll have a tiny carbon footprint! lol
I’m only half joking. My husband and I live far enough away from our family members and close friends that we almost never have a babysitter. That means that it’s been a long time since we’ve had a “date night.”
Above all, when looking to make your Valentine’s Day greener, remember that you don’t have to give “stuff.” You can give a gift of time, a gift of experience (concert tickets, dance lessons, etc.) or just a simple I love you. And if all else fails, you can always give a homemade gift. I’ll post a few simple, DIY Valentine’s gift ideas soon at Green Your Decor!
What do you want for Valentine’s Day? Do you celebrate it at all? Do you care if your gift is eco-friendly? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Disclosure: I am a member of the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with compensation to share my tips for making Valentine’s Day greener. Participation is voluntary and as usual, all opinions are my own.