by Claire Morgenstern
This Valentine’s Day, honor the special people in your life with a gift they’ll love that also helps protect the world around them. Fortunately, there are more ways than ever before to give your loved ones thoughtful, unique gifts that are also great for the environment — and we’re not just talking fair trade chocolate, eco-friendly flowers and organic wine (although that’s a good start). Here are a few of our favorite gift ideas:
Give back to the Earth – or pay it forward. Give your special someone a potted plant or bulb this year instead of cut flowers. They last longer and depending on the flower you choose, can sometimes even be planted back in the ground to bloom year after year. Or, send one of these plantable cards (pictured below).
Better yet, make your money go even further by sending an eco-friendly gift that also benefits a good cause. If you buy a gift from NRDC’s Valentine’s Day Collection, you can save an acre of the Laguna San Ignacio gray whale nursery, plant a rainforest tree in Costa Rica, help protect polar bear cubs, and more. Your Valentine will get a customized Valentine’s Day e-card with a personalized message from you, featuring the wildlife or wild place they are helping to save. All gifts are $10, and the money goes to support NRDC’s work to defend the environment. Plus, each gift is fully tax-deductible.
Turn trash into treasure – or buy from someone else who did. Try making your own eco-friendly Valentine’s cards this year. Then, pair your fabulous cards with one of these homemade gifts – or get the whole family together and go for one of these kid-friendly Valentine’s Day craft projects.
If you’re not the crafty type, there are more eco-friendly gifts on the market these days than ever before. If your Valentine is dropping not-so-subtle hints about receiving jewelry on the big day, check out these eco-conscious jewelry designers who are creating incredible pieces from recycled metals and other reclaimed materials. For the special men in your life, check out these guy-friendly bottle openers (pictured below) made from recycled baseball bats or these typewriter key cufflinks. And for your littlest Valentines, here are some creative green options to please kids of all ages.