Sustainable Valentine's Day gift ideas

Romantic eco-friendly gifts that don’t cost the earth.

With red roses, chocolate hearts and teddy bears popping up in every shop it can seem difficult to escape the consumerism of Valentine’s Day.

Here are some ideas to keep things green and still show that special someone you care.

Skip the store-bought card

Show your significant other how you feel in your own hand with a handwritten love letter or design one on your computer. Use stationary you already have or decorate plain paper. Bonus points for cute hand-drawn illustrations no matter your skill level.

Cost: Free

Romance rating: 5/5

Plants over flowers

Instead of dropping a significant amount of money on a bouquet of long-stemmed roses, consider giving your partner a potted plant. Hardware stores, florists and nurseries stock a range of plants pre-potted in decorative pots so you don’t have to worry about putting it together yourself. Consider an easy-to-care-for indoor plant such as a pothos or monstera – they’ll last a lot longer and are significantly cheaper than a dozen red roses. 

Cost: Less than $50

Romance rating: 3/5

Baking

Spending an hour or two baking cupcakes or other sweet treats is a cute and cost-effective way of enjoying the sweet treats associated with Valentines Day. Your gift will mean you’re not contributing to the single-use plastics and consumerism of the day and, as a bonus, you’ll likely get to enjoy the cake too.

Cost: $20 for ingredients, two hours of time

Romance rating: 4/5

Ditch the wrapping paper

Most wrapping paper, sticky tape and ribbon can’t be recycled and ultimately ends up in landfill. Consider wrapping your gift in brown paper and natural string so it can be reused or make the wrapping part of the gift itself by using a scarf or tea towel. Look up tenugui fabric wrapping techniques on YouTube to perfect the technique.

Cost: $2+

Romance rating: 2/5

Have a picnic

Pack up some food and drink, pick a beautiful location then relax and enjoy each other’s company. Bonus points for making food at home or choosing packaging-free options. Don’t forget to take your rubbish home with you.

Cost: Depends on your picnic menu

Romance rating: 5/5