Ethical Valentine’s Day Gifts

Feb. 14 is the day we celebrate love, and you might be searching for something special for your special someone. You could always go for the traditional flowers, candies or diamonds – but your eco-conscious Valentine might not approve.

It’s important to keep in mind your loved one’s convictions when you’re buying him or her a gift. These convictions speak to who he or she is, and a really good gift would be representative of your loved one. In order to make the task a bit easier, we’ve put together a list of six ethical Valentine’s Day gifts that might just fit the bill.

  1. Lingerie From a Reputable Brand

The mass production of clothes may mean our wardrobes come at a cheaper price, but they often marginalize the worker and rely on materials harvested in a not so eco-friendly way.

Thankfully, some clothing companies have started to revamp their production in order to show respect for the Earth and the people who work in clothing production, so they earn fair wages. Pick up a sassy new piece of lingerie from one of these lines and voila: your Valentine’s Day is set.

  1. Plant a Tree Together

Have you and your Valentine put down roots in a shared home with some green space? If so, planting a tree together might be a great way to commemorate this Valentine’s Day, as well as help improve air quality. Of course, if it’s too cold in the midst of winter to plant your tree, a gift certificate to the local nursery in order to purchase a seedling when it’s warm could also suffice.

  1. Fair Trade Chocolate

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays where you have to eat chocolate – sweets are for sweethearts, right? You can pick up any old box of chocolate, but the Fair Trade stamp of approval guarantees farmers all over the world receive fair wages and can live a more comfortable lifestyle.

These farmers also have access to resources that help make their harvests sustainable and easier on the Earth, unlike the extra-large farms that seem to have taken over the U.S.

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  1. Plantable Flowers

Another Valentine’s Day classic: the bouquet of roses. Yes, the red blooms are certainly romantic and beautiful, but once they’re chopped and gathered into a bouquet, they only have days or weeks to live. It doesn’t seem like the best use of flowers or the resources required to grow them.

That’s why we propose you pick up a potted plant or bulb this Valentine’s Day so your loved one can actually grow and maintain it. The resources required to cultivate the seed initially will be worth it if you keep the plant in your home or garden. If the flower continues to grow and bloom each year, you’ll have an annual reminder of that one romantic Valentine’s Day and the perfect gift you found.

  1. Adopt an Endangered Animal

Chances are, someone who loves the Earth loves all its creatures. The World Wildlife Fund gives you the opportunity to adopt endangered species in someone’s name. Your money will go toward the organization’s efforts to conserve and protect wild animals like the polar bear, African elephant, gorilla and other species in danger of extinction.

  1. Ethically Sourced Jewelry

Finally, you can’t think of Valentine’s Day without envisioning the twinkle of a new diamond ring, bracelet, earring or necklace. Unfortunately, many diamonds are unethically harvested by underpaid and underinsured workers – it’s the same story as the lingerie and chocolate, unfortunately.

You can do your part, though, by picking out a piece of jewelry from a brand that works hard to ensure each diamond or gem comes from a vetted source. Some organizations make sure the diamonds are ethically sourced, or that workers are paid and taken care of, or that the Earth is protected in the process. Some require all three criteria be met.

Find a brand that meets your love’s standards and watch his or her eyes sparkle when you open that box to reveal a responsible, beautiful piece of jewelry.

Now, Celebrate

With the perfect gift idea(s) in mind, you can make your shopping trip quick and easy. That gives you plenty of time to focus on what really matters this Valentine’s Day: the eco-conscious one you love.