The thoughtful last-minute guide to Valentine’s Day

Supermarket flowers might be super convenient, but ‘fresh’ cut flowers aren’t as green as they appear…

Who says flowers are prettier than house plants?

February 14th isn’t everyone’s favourite date, but this year couples who don’t usually part-take are opting for gift exchanges, friends are using it as a way to reach out and lets be honest, we all need to show ourselves some love. So whether you’re buying for someone else or yourself, I have a few solutions to the last-minute gift that won’t break the bank or harm the planet.

Not-so-fun fact! Most fresh cut flowers are sprayed with harmful pesticides, imported from countries far away by air and many suppliers exploit their workforce – romantic eh?

  1. Plants
    If you’re usually the one running the supermarket last minute, why not opt for a house plant instead? While it may not have the grandeur of a bunch of flowers, a plant is long-lasting and signifies growth, isn’t that what you want for your relationship? Or do you want something plastic-wrapped that will whittle and die in a week? Think carefully…
  2. Use your hands
    Handmade items are super special, you could whip up a scrap book of memories, make a comically bad card or fill a jar with memories and things you love about them on notes.
  3. Eco-friendly phone case
    or any other practical accessory. I advise against buying anything new that will not be of use to the recipient so try to purchase something they need, such as a phone case. A lot of phone cases are made of plastics and silicones which will sit in landfill for hundreds of years before breaking down, and their toxic ingredients harm wildlife as they disperse. You can now buy phone cases made from wheat, bamboo, cork and biodegradable materials. (Links take you to some of the most appealing ones I’ve found online.)
  4. Recycled jewellery
    Jewellery is a go-to on VD but have you considered recycled, handmade or vintage jewellery? Depop and Instagram are great places to find small jewellery business to support but if you’re struggling ASOS stock ‘Reclaimed Vintage’ so you can grab some cool pieces from there.
  5. For the person who has everything – give to someone else.
    There are lots of charitable options available this Valentine’s Day. Browse Choose Love’s store, pay, and leave with nothing. Your loved one will receive an e-card and the item you bought will go straight to a refugee camp. You could adopt an animal – your significant other would receive a cuddly toy and updates on how your kind donation has helped support a real animal survive. You can do this via websites like WWF or perhaps look to your local wildlife park, zoo or farm, you might be able to visit.
Up-cycle any jar, your notes could be memories, reasons you love them or mindfulness tips.

I think the most important thing when choosing gifts is taking the time to choose something that will last. Valentine’s Day feeds the throw-away culture with its gimmicky gifts and over-packaged chocolates. Your significant other has probably hinted at what they would like but if not, I hope this guide is useful in getting them something special.

Share the love – and this blog, if you fancy it.

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