Want to show how much you love that special someone, without giving them garbage? You’ve come to the right place! (And
maybe definitely you’re that special someone. Treat yourself!) Here are great ethical, eco-friendly, and zero waste gifts for Valentine’s Day. Sustainable is so sexy!
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Zero-Waste Body Care
Ever since Valentine’s Day was cooked up as a money-making scheme (am I getting the lore correct? Don’t quote me.) body care items like lotions and sprays have been a popular way to say, “Thank you for bathing.” And for good reason – these items can be a great way to make yourself or someone else feel cared for.
Rather than opting for those Big Box bottles of “fruit” scented slather, look into ethical body care brands that make a gift that’s generous to the planet, too. A Judgement-Free Green fave is the Ethique brand. It’s widely available, and its products and packaging leave no trace (throw the wrapping in your compost bin!)
Heart-shaped shampoo and conditioner minis that comprise this lovey sampler fit the V-Day theme. Or make your own gift pack by bundling shampoo bars, conditioners, and this body sampler (again with the heart shapes!). In love with a DIY type? Ethique now offers concentrates – bars that can be melted into water and put into a reusable bottle for those who can only use so many bars. Check out this lotion concentrate. Genius!
Candles are another perennial favorite. However, not all candles are created equally. There is a whole fear-mongering internet hole about the toxicity of commercially made candles that you’re welcome to dig yourself into if you’d like. I personally don’t buy the dramatics, but I do understand that many folks have asthma, allergies, and other sensitivities that are exacerbated by fragrances.
Beeswax candles are all-natural, clean burning, and proponents even say they’ll clean your air. Alternative Imagination and Little Bee of Connecticut are two small businesses available on Amazon (I see you, last minute gift buyers!). Little Bee will also talk about custom orders if they don’t have the sizes you prefer.
To-Go Coffee Mugs
If your love’s love is coffee – don’t be jealous, be thankful. There is no end to the gifts they will cherish. You’re set forever.
This year, how about a reusable travel coffee mug made of recyclable materials? These plastic-free JOCO mugs are made of glass and silicone, and come in a vast array of sizes and colors. They’re safe in both the microwave and the dishwasher.
If you have someone in your life who is particular about their reusable mugs (needs to be larger than 12 oz., needs to be slim enough to fit in my cup holder, needs to NOT LEAK. It’s me. I’m that someone.) then the Klean Kanteen is the gift that says, “You’re not crazy. You just like what you like.” It hits all my personal aforementioned requirements and comes in great colors and large sizes. The company is family owned, and carbon neutral.
And finally, if your coffee lover is already so green they just fly out the door in the morning with their iced joe in a mason jar, these bamboo lids and stainless steel straws will delight their eco-friendly heart.
Or Just Regular Mugs
Well, not regular mugs. The cutest mug set that ever did cross a zero-waste gifts for Valentine’s Day list.
These Kissing Mugs from Uncommon Goods say all the things that no one wants to say or hear before they’ve gotten their caffeine in the morning. Blissful silence, in the sweetest package.
Every three weeks, a bag of freshly roasted, Fair-Trade Certified, delicious coffee arrives in my mailbox. The companies vary and so do the flavors, but they’re all tailored to the preferences profile I made at Trade Coffee Co. It is one of my favorite things, and I can’t recommend it enough to give to a fellow coffee lover. Either gift them bags or equipment from the store, or send a gift subscription. However you do it, you can be sure you’re giving a sustainable gift, because even Trade’s shipping package is compostable. This company has thought of everything.
Make Your Own Tea Blends
Or maybe your Valentine is more of a tea drinker. That’s cool, too. One of the most thoughtful gifts you could buy has to be a tea blend that you’ve made (or, ordered) yourself. Soul Tea Blends allows you to create your own by selecting up to six herbs that they’ll mix and ship you. The gift even includes a tea diffuser ball, which can be used over and over.
Want more ideas for reusable tea bags? This post has you covered!
Bamboo Kitchen Items
Items made of bamboo are always a great bet for ethical gifts. Bamboo is strong enough to ensure great quality items, and fast-growing to ensure it replaces itself. It truly is a sustainable material.
If you’re looking for a sustainable Valentine’s Day gift for the cook in your life, this bamboo charcuterie set from Etsy is brilliant and beautiful. Or how about this handcrafted (super reasonably priced!) bamboo cutting board set, also found on Etsy?
Online Chocolate Making Class
Sure, giving chocolates is a sweet touch. But there is generally a lot to throw out in that heart-shaped box, and I’m not just talking about the paper. Looking at you, candies with one bite taken out, only to reveal the nasty inside was not the caramel you were hoping for.
Prove that you’re not just phoning in Valentine’s Day – give a Chocolate Making Class. While an in-person foray would be fun, now is not the time. The Chocolate Academy sells subscriptions to a vast library of chocolate making courses. In the same vein, Dallmann Confections offers one-on-one classes or single workshops.
Chocolate making classes may sound good, but maybe your Valentine just doesn’t have the time. Cut right to the chase by sending chocolate, after all. Just be sure to earn those brownie points by making it sustainable. Alter-Eco is a carbon-neutral business that whips up delicious, fair-trade concoctions wrapped in recyclable packaging.
Heart Shaped Spoons
While we’re in the kitchen, how about loving that room right up with one of these hand-crafted, heart-shaped wooden spoons? Another clever gift from Uncommon Goods, the shape of the spoons say it all, but are also large enough to really serve a helpful purpose in the kitchen. A crucial part of giving zero-waste gifts for Valentine’s Day is making sure your gift doesn’t get tossed aside quickly. These cuties check that box!
Heart Shaped Paperweight
We’re all sprucing up work-from-home spaces that are seeming more permanent than temporary at this point. Here’s a sweet token from fair-trade fave 10,000 Villages that say, “I love you” from 9 -5 and beyond. These heart-shaped paperweights are handcrafted in Kenya, and add a heartwarming touch to someone’s desk.
Plants are my love language. Know someone like this? Then check out the The Sill. This company ships houseplants within the U.S. (and pays to have the carbon footprint offset!). They always have beautiful, trendy (I swear plants can be trendy. I don’t get it either, but it’s a thing now.) houseplants that will last years longer than those grocery store flowers you’re eyeing. Subscriptions and memberships available, too!
Online Consignment Gift Cards
Gift Cards are always appreciated, and e-gift cards make that gift zero waste. But if you want to really be a sustainable gift giving overachiever, gift your love a shopping spree to either Thred Up or The Real Real. Thred Up e-gift cards will give a shopper access to the online consignment giant, and an e-gift card to The Real Real allows one to browse this online consignment store specializing in verified luxury brands.
Give the gift of binge watching. After all, one never grows out of their favorite shows played on a loop in the background of their life. Netflix and chill may be a euphemism, but can you think of a more useful gift than actual Netflix and actual chilling? Netflix, Hulu, whatever….pre-pay for a streaming service and give the gift of mindless relaxation.
Whether you’re packing this gift with innuendo, or just need new sheets, Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to wrap up a set. Our pick is Delilah Home 100% Hemp Sheets. GOTS certified. No toxic chemicals. Now that is a sexy gift.
These sheets are not only responsibly sourced and made, but they’re incredibly soft and comfortable. Don’t agree? No problem – Delilah offers a 30-day return policy.
While we’re on the subject of helping someone kick up their feet, can we suggest purchasing them a hammock? This is often an unexpected gift, but a lot of times people don’t know they need a hammock until they have one. And everyone needs a hammock. We suggest these portable Eno brand hammocks. You can buy a single or double, and choose a color out of tons of options. One important note: the strap system is sold separately, so be sure to add that to the gift. The bonus is, your Valentine can use this to relax at home, and then throw it in a backpack to take hiking and camping. It’s an outdoorsy dream.
Well, of course a Valentine’s Day gift list is going to include jewelry. But here’s a sustainable tip: buy small. Small businesses are generally a more eco-friendly option, and it just feels so much better to support a person rather than a corporation, ya know? So move outside the box a little and check out a cute Etsy shop.
Candid Art makes beautiful pieces that are far from typical. The U-Turn and Vortex earrings are both perfect, and would make an incredibly thoughtful gift. Those are personal faves, but shop around Etsy for more jewelry inspiration rather than heading to the mall.
Send a Card
Seriously. A hand-written note? Who even does that anymore? Thoughtful people, that’s who. And show you’re extra thoughtful by writing that note on flower paper. Pick up a card from Etsy made from seed paper – that is, plantable paper which contains flower seeds – and let your love sprout. Read, swoon, plant. You’re about to win this holiday. Personal favorites include V-Day cards from Seed Paper Society, and cards from Seedy Cards who offer herbs or flowers.
Zero Waste Gifts for Valentine’s Day Hodge Podge: A Green Up Box
And if all these options are overwhelming? We get it. Here’s what to do: get an eco-friendly subscription box. Give a monthly subscription to The GreenUP Box or select a themed box designed for a one-time purchase. The company is all about introducing customers to eco-friendly swaps for plastic items.
Typical boxes range from $40 – $45, for about $90 worth of items.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Love love, and the planet this year!