A Sustainable Way to Shop Valentine's Day

With Valentine’s day right around the corner, many people are starting to think about what to gift or what plans to make with their significant other. Though Valentine’s day has its classic gift ideas, their leftovers can create excess waste that can contribute to our waste as a society. Here are some sustainable ideas to give to your loved ones this season that will treat our planet a little bit kinder, while holding just as much sentimentality. 


1. Send Cards With Minimal Waste

Ecards don’t create any waste or require any supplies to make! There are a multitude of websites you can use to send ecards this Valentine’s Day. Hallmark has a large supply of ecards on their website found here, and Paperless post also offers a variety of cards here. As an alternative, JibJab also offers animated ecards that put a little extra twist on card giving. If hardcopy cards are a must however, homemade cards are an alternative to store bought cards that can be made without purchasing additional materials; in some cases, these can be more meaningful and heartfelt!



2. Choose Living Plants Over a Bouquet

Instead of gifting a bouquet this holiday, consider gifting a live plant that is just as beautiful and will last much longer. If the maintenance of a houseplant is a challenge, succulents are also a great alternative to flowers. If flowers are a staple in your Valentine’s Day celebrations, the Home Depot sells a variety of plants, like potted orchids and lilies, that are available for purchase online. Other stores also have a local selection to choose from.

book fashion plants minimal cactus cacti cool style

3. Repurpose What You Already Own

Upcycling, or transforming by-products or unused materials into new products to reduce waste, is a great way to put leftover materials to use while sparing excess waste and an additional purchase at the store. Pinterest is always my go to for DIY repurposing projects like this, but if crafting a whole gift presents a challenge, then you could even use old materials to repurpose one aspect of the gift. 


Jagoda Kondratiuk


4. Shop Locally

If you’re cooking a meal this Valentine’s Day, consider shopping locally. Shopping locally can reduce food miles – how far the food was shipped from where it was cultivated and the resources put into transporting those goods – and lower the air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that come from food production from overseas, plane travel, or long truck travels. Locally grown food also tells the consumer where and how their food was cultivated and produced, making sure consumers know exactly what they’re eating and purchasing. Additionally, locally grown food is more accessible to the people (saving more travel miles that use fossil fuels) and is often fresher than produce in chain supermarkets. Besides being more sustainable, shopping locally is also beneficial to your health!


Local Farms Food


By utilizing these Valentine’s Day gift alternatives and shopping more sustainably, we can continue to work towards a more efficient and less waste-based society. Happy gifting!


Flower with a heart clip next to it


Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Images are courtesy of the Her Campus photo database