· By Sasha LoPresti
5 Sustainable Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating love and showing your loved ones how much you care. So what better way to celebrate than with gifts that are sustainable, ethical and love our planet! Say “I love you” to your valentine by following these sustainable Valentine’s Day shopping tips.
Give fair trade chocolate.
Giving chocolates is pretty much a (delicious) Valentine’s Day essential. But unfortunately, the cocoa industry is notorious for its unethical practices – including exploitation of farmers, utilizing child labor & forced labor, increasing deforestation and much more. That is why it's important to support fair trade chocolate brands! Look for chocolate that has been certified Fair Trade by either Fair Trade America or Fair Trade Certified; both of these organizations have ensured that the products they certify have been created ethically and sustainably, respecting both the people involved in the trade and the surrounding environments.
Gift sustainable jewelry.
Who doesn’t love a dainty necklace or beautiful earrings for Valentine’s Day? If you’re planning to give your valentine jewelry, look for ethical companies that make their jewelry out of sustainable materials. There are many conscious jewelry brands out there, but Catbird is our favorite! Catbird, which is based in Brooklyn, uses materials like recycled gold and responsibly-sourced diamonds and stones to create stunning jewelry pieces. Female-founded and woman-run, they also donate 1% of their proceeds to nonprofits aligned with their core values.
Buy sustainable flowers – or better yet, a plant!
We all love flowers, but the environmental cost of that beautiful bouquet is often very high. According to environmental journalist Jennifer Grayson, almost 80% of all flowers sold in the U.S. are imported, and 93% of them are grown in Colombia and Ecuador. This means that the carbon emissions produced to get those flowers here and the chemicals used to get the flowers to last longer are tremendous. So instead of buying flowers from the supermarket, try shopping from eco-friendly plant shops like Rooted. Located in NYC, Rooted is an online plant retailer that ships all of their plants out of their own homegrown warehouse using carbon-neutral shipping. They also donate 1% of all proceeds to a nonprofit of your choice!
Use recyclable wrapping paper or ditch it altogether.
Did you know that most of the wrapper paper we use contains plastic, laminates, glitter or other chemicals that make it unrecyclable? If you are using wrapping paper for your Valentine’s gift, check to make sure it can be recycled. You can also order from a company like Wrappily, which offers sustainable, 100% recyclable wrapping paper in fun prints. Another option is to ditch the wrapping paper altogether! You can use gift bags made from recyclable materials or seed paper, which can be planted to grow your own plants or flowers.
DIY your gift.
When in doubt, the best and most thoughtful gifts are the ones you make yourself. If you want to celebrate your valentine in a sustainable way, you can make your loved one’s favorite dessert or baked goods instead of giving chocolates, make your own soy-based candles in their favorite scent or gift items like homemade vegan lip balm or body scrub.
Ultimately, Valentine’s Day is less about gifts and more about celebrating your loved ones. If you are going to shop for Valentine’s Day this year, look for brands that are transparent about their values and practices. Check out their About Us section and look for any sustainability certifications they have, such as USDA certified organic, Fair Trade, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, etc. A responsible brand will be open and honest about how they make or source their products, so support brands that align with your own values. If you want to learn more about Amame’s commitment to ethical practices, check out our Sustainability Promise or reach out to ask us any questions!
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