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While my natural tendency is towards frugality and reducing waste, I’ve learned the hard way that applying that to gift giving (when your partner’s main love language is gifts) is a recipe for disaster! So, while we don’t normally gifts on Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided this year to look for some romantic options that would make my other half happy (or that I would love to receive).
First up, chocolate…
Craft chocolate is typically produced with much more care for the environment and for the growers than mass-produced chocolate is. For example, rather than sourcing beans grown on monoculture plantations, beans that small-batch chocolate is made of tend to come from farms that are within existing rainforests. This supports biodiversity, reduces deforestation and means that much of the water used comes from natural precipitation.
Pacari Chocolate was the highest-rated producer in the Ethical Consumer score table based on their environmental and supply chain policies. You can buy their chocolate directly via their website and it is also stocked in a number of shops and cafes in Edinburgh and Glasgow (as well as other towns and countries).
They are offering an online chocolate tasting experience on 10 February 2022 in case you’d like to celebrate Valentine’s early…
If you are looking for more variety, Cocoa Runners offers a great selection of options, including this Deluxe Vegan Box. One of the chocolates in this box, MIA, is one of the top-three rated by Ethical Consumer for their sustainable methods and supply chain policies.
They also run regular chocolate tastings and you can order a selection of vegan (or not) chocolates as well as wine pairings if you wish.
Vegan bath bombs
Our bathroom is next to one of our kid’s bedrooms, so I hardly ever have a bath because I’m worried the running water will wake him up…I forget that when the fire alarm goes off he sleeps through it – such is the crippling paranoia of a sleep deprived mum.
So anyway when I do have a bath it feels like the ultimate luxury and what better way to further luxuriate than with a bath bomb. These ones are vegan, designed for sensitive skin, and so pretty.
A vegan brownie delivery
If you are dipping your toe into the Valentine’s gift giving world, like me, these are a nice way to mark the occasion, whether you are spending the day together or long distance lovers.
Sustainably sourced and made jewellery
The one thing that I always appreciate is jewellery. I think it’s also an easier gift to choose than, say, clothes, because you don’t need to worry about getting the size right (unless it’s a ring!) and there are so many simple and classic styles that will appeal to most people.
There are some lovely recycled and upcycled options on Etsy. Buying secondhand is also a good option, either at a vintage jewellers, or some department stores, like John Lewis, even sell secondhand items sometimes.
Zero waste shaving kit
Combine practicality with self-care with this zero waste shaving kit. Not only will this reduce plastic waste, but you also get a smoother shave with a safety razor (and save money).
For tea lovers: loose tea infuser
A tea strainer could be a thoughtful gift for someone who wants to switch to tea leaves, particularly if they are going back to the office and want to keep an eco-friendly tea drinking ritual.
Climate Hero Gift Card
And last but not least, if your loved one would appreciate the peace of mind of knowing that they were reducing their carbon impact for up to a year, you can buy them a Climate Hero Gift Card. The money paid for these cards finances projects that will reduce carbon emissions elsewhere in the world, meaning that you can offset their own impact for the period that you choose. This is based on estimates of an “average person’s” climate footprint.
This is a great option if you are buying last minute, as you can download and print, or email, the gift.
Even if you decide not to do gifts for Valentine’s, these ideas make great birthday or “just because” presents (for someone else, or yourself!).
At the very least, we will celebrate with a nice meal at home and what we call “adult snacks”, i.e. fancy olives, smoked oysters on crackers and and we sometimes do this weird thing where we crumble feta and squeeze lemon juice over posh crisps.
Enjoy the day folks, if and however you are celebrating.