7 eco-friendly Valentine’s Day gifts your bae and Mother Earth will love

  • Roses are red, violets are blue; but why not show the planet a little love and go green this February 14?
  • Make things by hand, reuse old items in creative new ways, and cook at home this year
Rhea Mogul |

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Valentine’s Day goes hand in hand with gift giving, and this can sadly amount to a lot of waste. Think of all the chocolate boxes, bouquet wrapping paper, and gift bags that end up in the bin at the end of the day. With the amount of waste that we already generate on a regular basis, why not try to express your love in a more eco-friendly way this year?

Made with love

Standing in line for 20 minutes to buy a card wastes too much time and effort! And with all that extra packaging, you will be throwing away more than you will be giving to your loved one.

Instead, opt for a hand-written letter on recycled paper. Or better yet, get creative and make a beautiful card from old newspapers. Everyone, from your partner to your parents and friends will appreciate the extra thought and personal touch.

We tried to live plastic-free for a week in Hong Kong and this is what happened

For the chocolate lover

You can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day without chocolate. That would be like having a hot dog with no sausage! But try not to buy the kind that come individually wrapped or are packaged in non-recyclable boxes.

Or better yet, make some yourself. It’s easier than you think! All you have to do is place some chocolate chips, condensed milk and butter in a bowl, and put it in the microwave. Once it’s all melted, pour it into an ice tray or a heart-shaped baking dish and leave it to set in the fridge.

Alternative bouquet

We understand if you want to say, “I love you” with flowers. But be careful before you spend money on a pretty bouquet. They only last about a week, and with all the non-recyclable plastic and ribbons it comes with, you’re better off steering clear from florists.

Instead, buy a potted plant, for your loved ones. It is a fun, unique alternative to the traditional bouquet of flowers, and will last longer, too.

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Upcycled presents

Instead of spending money on clothes or other presents, try making something out of the things you already have. One idea is to make a blanket from your old T-shirts or jumpers. Your loved ones will appreciate the creativity and effort, and the present will keep you all nice and cozy if you choose to spend a night in watching movies with your friends and family.

If you know your loved one likes to cook, you could even infuse oil for them, or give them a potted herb.

Prepared with love

A home-made meal is a much better (and more affordable) alternative to eating out. Besides, doesn’t going outside and enjoying a picnic basket packed with all your favourite food together sound awfully romantic?

Make sure to take your own reusable cutlery and plates, a bottle for a water and Tupperware boxes for your food.

This would make a great zero-waste outing for you and your loved ones to enjoy.

A Valentine's Day date on a budget that your special someone won't soon forget

Use your talents

Why waste your time shopping around for a gift, when you’ve got everything you need at home? It doesn’t take a lot to sing a song, write a poem or paint a picture for your loved ones. They’re sure to appreciate the time and effort you put into making their gift.

A day to remember

Good things come in small packages, but the best things require no packaging at all. Why not opt for an intangible gift this year? Buy tickets to a show or sign up for a fun class for you and your loved one based on their interests. This would be a great way to show how well you know them.