Valentine’s Day presents an opportunity and a risk. The chance to gift something to someone you love and show you care. But what if you’re trying to be ethical and sustainable this year? How do you get that perfect gift for that someone special without adding a negative impact on the planet?
Ethical & Sustainable Valentine’s Day Ideas
Tip 1 – Get to know who you’re gifting (like really know them)
To buy something thoughtful, you need to take some time to get to know what the person you are buying for really likes, believes in and supports. Ask questions, pay attention to their likes and interactions with certain brands, places and people. Build up a bigger picture, that goes beyond a card, chocolate and flowers.
For example, it would be quite easy to gift a vegan some beautiful silk underwear… not realising many vegans don’t wear silk. But some do. Do you know where they stand on this matter? You should try to.
Tip 2 – Don’t rush a gift
Don’t rush out and get any old gift if you’ve left it late ‘just so they have something to open’ – let your partner, bestie, husband or wife know that something special is on its way.
Drop a new clue to what it could be for each day that leads up to its arrival date. Maintain the suspense… and extend the number of days showing you care with little acts of kindness each day.
Tip 3 – Avoid pointless gifting and silly fun things that will end up in the bin
Many shops sell lots of Valentine’s Day tatt. Fluffy hearts, heart shaped this and that… it’s all fun and games for that one evening, but what will they do with it afterwards. Cue the bin.
Surfers Against Sewage recently slammed Poundland for a £1 gift of nothing. It was just plastic packaging without anything inside of it. I understand the sentiment – but they obviously didn’t get the memo about plastic pollution and climate change. Gifts like this, as thoughtful as they seem, are in fact thoughtless and inconsiderate.
Tip 4 – Support Ethical & Sustainable brands that care about people, planet and animals
You can shop by values over on Ethical Brand Directory (EBD). Using resources like EBD is a great way to take the stress out of knowing whether what you’re buying is ethical, plus you can get some background on the brand’s story. The double benefit here is that you’ve got great story to tell them about ‘why’ you picked that certain gift, from that carefully considered brand for them.
Tip 5 – Ditch the gift cards! Make a voice note.
Make a gift note – don’t buy one. It’s really tempting to go out and buy a Valentine’s Day card. But many of these cards cannot be recycled, like Christmas wrapping paper – so instead why not record a lovely voice note? If you have iMovie it’s really easy to record you voice, edit and add music in the background too.
“Britons send an average of £62.57 each a year on gift cards with a total of £250 million being possibly wasted on them nationwide” – The Sun
In my next blog, I will summarise the best Ethical Brands for Valentine’s Day gifts on Ethical Brand Directory.
Roberta is the founder of Ethical Brand Directory and Roberta Style Lee. She is a speaker, coach and sustainable stylist. You can connect with her on Instagram: @robertastylelee