Valentine's Day is fast approaching. Many of us love to spoil our loved ones, using the day to celebrate love and remind people how we feel about them. But what about if you, or the one you love, is vegan, plastic-free, or an eco-warrior? Well, we've got you covered.
If you're stuck on buying a gift that reflects your or their eco-friendly values, we've got you covered. In this blog, we will give you our best green tips for Valentine's Day, especially for the special woman in your life.
As we are still in the midst of winter in the UK, if you want to send your loved ones the traditional dozen red roses, they are likely to have been flown halfway across the world and then delivered to you in an energy-guzzling refrigerated van. There will also have been a ton of pesticides and herbicides used to grow such 'perfect' specimens. They have been artificially kept alive and will probably last no longer than a week - if you're lucky.
Instead, you could find a beautiful houseplant - preferably grown in the UK.
It isn't always easy to find ethically sourced houseplants, so do some research and look at retailers like the Bloom Box Club.
Another romantic gesture might be buying seeds or a baby fruit tree that you can plant together and grow with your love. It's a lot easier to find ethical seed retailers like Ethical Organic Seed Company or Keepers Nursery.
A well thought out plant, seed or tree can make a beautiful, individualised gift - you could even look up its meaning in something like the Victorian flower language to add that extra, romantic touch.
Although there are many more vegan options to choose from, even in our local supermarkets, there can be ethical and environmental concerns about the chocolate we buy. And, let's face it, they're usually heavily packaged too.
The cacao used to make chocolate is not usually Fair Trade nor ethically and sustainably produced. It's often full of unsustainable palm oil too. Luckily there are manufacturers out there giving us eco-conscious options.
Divine chocolate company is co-owned by cocoa farmers and sees its mission to help end exploitation in cocoa production. They have a delicious vegan range.
As do Montezumas, who not only sell amazing vegan chocolates, but they are also passionate about finding ways to reduce their impact on the planet. They ensure that all their packaging is either recyclable, biodegradable or compostable at home. Perfect.
Buying a fragrance seems like the perfect romantic valentines gift for her. But most scents are just a synthetic chemical concoction, with their components usually derived from fossil fuels. There are over 4000 different chemicals used worldwide in the perfume industry. Some of these are fairly toxic to our bodies, over time, and often environmentally unfriendly too.
As consumer demand has risen for healthier, more ethical products, some innovative producers have come up with great substitutes. Take Dolma Fragrances, vegan and cruelty-free; they use a blend of 100% natural ingredients and, what is known as, safe synthetics. They are totally transparent about what they use to make their perfume.
Or take a look at Eden Perfumes, which use vegan ingredients and blend them to smell like your loved one's favourite perfume. They offer botanical, cruelty-free fragrances made with respect to both the planet and the animals who live on it. Handmade in the UK, they contain no synthetic preservatives, parabens or phthalates.
Finding ethical jewellery is actually quite a complex mission. From how the materials are mined, taking into consideration the environmental effects of the mining itself plus the conditions of the people who work there, it can feel preferable not to think too hard about it.
Some jewellery makers are making life easy for us by doing the thinking for us. Take Little By Little, they have teamed up with a factory in Peru and have visited it themselves to ensure it's a safe, well equipped and spacious place to work. They use the local silver from the area, including some that are recycled, and the virgin metal used is supplied by companies with environmental certification and meet with strict labour and human rights laws.
On top of that, their packaging is 100% recycled and made in the UK. A fabulous alternative.
Eco Fabulous Hamper
If your loved one is just getting started on her eco-journey, she will love this Ultimate Toiletry Starter Kit Hamper. It includes all the essentials and is perfect for someone starting their plastic-free journey. It covers everything you need for an eco bathroom, including a bamboo toothbrush, makeup remover pads, dental floss and cotton buds.
All of our packaging is 100% recyclable, the products within the hamper are sourced carefully, and are made ethically and sustainably. This is a special valentines idea for someone who cares about the environment and wants to make changes in their life.
Alternative Gift Ideas
There are lots of choices you can make that don't involve buying a novelty gift.
Whether you're a whizz in the kitchen or just want to show how much you care, cooking for someone is a time-honoured way to express your love. You could make a special breakfast, cook a personalised evening meal with all the food she loves or bake heart-shaped cupcakes or cookies.
How about creating a bit of nostalgia or showing your feelings with a specially created playlist. Or make a list of films you commit to watching together over the coming weeks.
Making 'vouchers' with acts of service on them, to be 'cashed in' whenever she wants them - a massage or foot rub, babysitting duties, cleaning the house or taking her out for a picnic.
Book an experience, like a course of dancing lessons, yoga sessions or any experience she might love - from driving a racing car to bungee jumping, the possibilities are endless.
Adopting an animal from a sanctuary or taking out a membership for a charity that your loved one really is connected to, is another excellent idea for someone who is vegan and environmentally conscious.
And, of course, anything you can paint, draw, make or craft yourself, from the heart, for the one you love, is going to have a big impact.
Wild & Stone's mission is to create stylish, easy to adopt and usable alternatives to common plastic products around the home. We source all our products sustainably, from raw material to final delivery. Shop our wide range today.