Man and women making heart with hands

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. It’s always good to shower the people you love with love and this year that’s especially true. We could all use a pick-me-up right about now — some joy, some beauty, and an added dose of love and kindness.

Make your gift-giving extra loving by showing the planet some kindness, too.

Let’s Talk About Flowers

Flowers are one of the countless gifts of beauty the earth offers us. Unfortunately, flowers that are grown off-season, overfed fertilizers, and shipped long distances are a train wreck for the environment. Instead of picking up a bunch of cut flowers or sending a bouquet this Valentine’s Day, try something new.

You may have seen Love Pop’s pitch on Shark Tank, where they made a deal with Kevin O’Leary. Love Pop makes gorgeous bouquets of cut-paper flowers. Their bouquets run a lot cheaper than other flowers on Valentine’s Day.

Paper wildflower bouquet
Lovepop paper wildflower bouquet

Does your loved one have the patience to wait for spring to see their flowers bloom? Check out the Gardener’s Supply Company. They have any number of gifts that will reward that patience in due time. Take a look at these wildflower seed balls for a rainbow of blooms that support garden biodiversity.

Wildflower seed balls
Wildflower seed balls from Gardener’s Supply Company

Candles

Candlelight is almost synonymous with romance. Don’t ruin the mood by lighting candles that release potentially harmful pollutants or VOCs from chemical scents. Look for candles made from beeswax or sustainably sourced palm wax and natural scents.

The Package Free Shop sells these pillar candles made from palm wax. Bonus: The candles come in minimal packaging that you can recycle or compost — a nice gift for the planet.

Give Organically Grown Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa

You can almost never go wrong with gifts that warm up your honey in the middle of cold February. Try these gourmet drinks to drive out the chill this winter.

Coffee

Understanding certifications can help ensure your coffee purchase is safer for the planet and the workers. According to Smithsonian Magazine, your best bet when it comes to coffee is to look for USDA organic certification and certified Fair-Trade brands.

Try Certified B-Corp Larry’s Coffee for a wide variety of organic coffee blends. Equal Exchange is one of the first coffee brands to focus on fair-trade issues. Equal Exchange is available in many large grocery store chains as well as online.

Larry's Coffee
Larry’s coffee. Image: Amazon

Tea

For the tea-drinkers in your life, look no further than Arbor Teas for a more sustainable cuppa. They are uber-committed to sustainability. They’re organic, fair-trade and Green America certified, and their packaging is compostable. Their line of teapots and accessories can turn your loved one’s daily cup of tea into a gorgeous self-care ritual.

Cocoa

Equal Exchange wins again with their Kosher Dairy certified organic hot cocoa mix — or give your Valentine a kick with their spicy hot cocoa mix. Another fair-trade certified and organic cocoa mix is Lake Champlain Chocolates hot chocolate mix.

Give Them a Warm Hug

What’s better in winter than sipping a warm drink under a cozy blanket? Check out Coyuchi’s 100% organic cotton throw blanket for the one who’s always cold.

Organic cotton blanket
Organic cotton blanket, Coyuchi

Chocolate

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s without chocolate, would it? Indulge your Valentine with a treat from these top organic chocolate-makers.

Divine Chocolates are certified fair-trade and co-owned by their cocoa farmers. Their company is committed to empowering women — more than a third of their co-owner are women. Share these milk chocolate hearts with the people you love.

Fair-trade chocolate hearts from Divine
Fair-trade chocolate hearts from Divine

Raaka sells certified organic chocolate sourced from growers in the Dominican Republic and Tanzania. Their products are all vegan and certified Kosher. Try this trio of chocolates from a company that prioritizes living wages for their growers.

Personalized Message Books

Here’s a gift that’s straight from the heart. Knock Knock has a unique collection of What I Love About You books. Each book has fill-in-the-blank statements such as:

  • You deserve the __________ award.
  • You’re amazing at _________________.
  • You have great taste in _________________.
  • I love the way you _________________.

There are books geared towards sweethearts, besties, grandparents, and more.

What makes these books a good choice for eco-friendly folks is that they’re keepers. Nobody is going to toss these in the trash.

The downside is they are wrapped in a sheet of plastic. For protection, maybe? Seems like an unnecessary bit of plastic waste, in our opinion. Let Knock Knock know when you order that you’d rather they skip the plastic.

Do Some Virtual Window-Shopping

If you enjoy browsing for the perfect gift yourself, check out these sustainable online marketplaces.

  • Made Trade: Sells home goods, furniture, and fashion. Women-owned, they vet products through an equity and sustainability lens.
  • Done Good: Called the “Amazon of social good,” by Forbes magazine. They do the legwork on ethical brands so you don’t have to.
  • The Little Market: Sells artisan-made goods from over 25 countries. Focused on creating economic opportunity for artisans.

This article contains affiliate links. If you purchase an item through one of these links, we receive a small commission that helps fund our Recycling Directory.

By Mary McDonald

Mary McDonald is a freelance writer based in Central Massachusetts. After working as a teacher for many years, she now writes about mental health, wellness, and the environment. You can find her on LinkedIn.