Top 10 Must-Have Zero Waste Valentines Gifts

It’s nearly that time of year again when we express our undying love for each other. The most common way we do this is by giving gifts and cards. In 2017 UK consumers were set to spend nearly £1 billion on Valentine’s time day gifts. That’s a lot of money!

 

Personally, we don’t tend to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We both dislike the idea that we ‘must’ tell each other how we feel on one particular day. It also encourages consumerism of single use items that ultimately end up in landfill;  helium-filled heart balloons anyone!

 

It appears we’re not alone in this as a recent survey revealed over 81% of the participants that took part felt that Valentine’s Day is now too commercial. Also, over 52% felt that Valentines Day was a waste of money.

Not only can it be a waste of money but it also generates a lot of waste!

 

  • Over 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold
  • 190 million roses grown
  • 1 billion cards bought and sent (source)

 

However, after saying all of that and putting a real downer on the whole day, I do appreciate that others do wish to celebrate it. So I’ve put together a list of 10 zero waste Valentines gifts for the conscious consumers among you.

10 Zero Waste Valentines Gifts

Potted Plant

 

Plants in pots are a great way of giving flowers that don’t need to be thrown away after a few days. If like me, the receiver is rubbish at keeping them alive then opt for an ‘easy’ plant-like succulents.

 

Related Post: Accenting your Home Ambience through Terrariums and Planters

potted plant zero waste Valentines gifts

Reasons I Love you Jar

 

I made one of these a few years ago for the other half. They are pretty simple to do and use up items that you already have in your home.

All you need is an empty glass jar and some scrap paper. You need to cut the scrap paper into little strips and write one reason why you love your partner on it. Then simply fill the jar. It’s a thrifty and thoughtful gift to give.

Give an Experience

Experience giving is my favourite type of zero waste gift and there are so many different types out there now.

Here are some examples of ones suitable for Valentine’s day gifts…

Soap

 

This one may sound a little boring but for any serious zero wasters out there soap is a must! They can also be pretty expensive for a decent *all natural soap so giving one as a gift should be well received.

 

My Mother bought me soap for Christmas and I was very happy with it!

soap zero waste gift

A Meal Out

 

I guess this one could go under the ‘give an experience’ category but I felt it needed it’s own section as you could combine an experience with a meal out.

 

Plant a Tree Gift

 

There are lots of companies out there where you can plant a tree for someone. A few that I have come across include The National Forest, Trees for Life and Woodland Trust.

Plant a tree gift

Donate to your Partners Favourite Charity

 

There are hundreds of different charities out there that allow you to donate money as a gift for someone. Some good examples are…

 

 

There is a really handy list of charity gifts over on the Money Saving Expert blog. It’s definitely worth checking out.

 

This really is a lovely zero waste Valentines gifts idea as not only are you not producing any waste but you are also helping others in need.

 

Edible Gifts

 

Food gifts make great zero waste presents especially if they are homemade. You can present them in leftover glass jars.

edible gifts zero waste

Plantable Pencils with Seeds

*Plantable pencils with seeds are another great zero waste gift. Once the pencil is too short to use the receiver can plant it in a pot. 

Reusable Products 

 

This could be anything from a reusable coffee mug, a stainless steel water bottle, reusable bags and other reusable products for the home.

 

For even more ideas check out my Zero Waste Gift Guide post.

 

So what about you? Would you consider getting any of the above zero waste Valentines gifts for your loved one this year? 

 

*Affiliate links

**Gypsy Soul is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Top 10 Must Have Zero Waste Valentines Gifts

About Gina Caro

Gina is a content creator and award-winning blogger. Her aim is to help you live a more sustainable & simple life.  Her blog covers zero waste, minimalism, wellbeing & thrift. She currently lives in Cornwall with her partner, two kids and Charles the dog. 

Georgina Caro Gypsy Soul

10 Tips for a Zero Waste Christmas

There is no question that the festive period generates a lot of waste. Over the years I have watched how much waste we produce as a family over Christmas and felt completely overwhelmed by the whole thing. 

 

Without wanting to put a complete downer on Christmas here are some Christmas waste facts for you…

Christmas Waste Stats

 

  • Each Christmas as much as 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper ends up in UK rubbish bins, enough to cover an area larger than Guernsey – cbenvironmental 
  • 125,000 tonne of plastic packaging is thrown away – envirowaste
  • 4,200 tonnes of aluminium foil is thrown away at Christmas in the UK – envirowaste
  • 6 million trees end up being thrown away – Independent

The scariest thing about those statistics is that those numbers are increasing every year! This year I have decided enough is enough and I need to start making some significant changes.

 

Don’t get me wrong I’m not expecting to create a completely zero waste Christmas, just the thought of that stresses me out. What I intend to do is drastically reduce the amount of waste we produce over the Christmas period.

 

After a lot of research here are my top 10 tips for having a zero waste Christmas

Wrap Presents in Reusable Wrapping Paper

 

This is one of my main aims this year. After doing a bit of research I have found a few companies online that sell ready-made reusable wrapping paper including Wrag Wrap & Happywrap. There are also a lot of sellers on *Etsy.

If you are creative you can always buy second-hand material from a charity shop or car boot sale and make your own. There is a Japanese method called furoshiki which is a way of wrapping presents with material. Check out the tutorials on YouTube for ideas.

 

If you find yourself with a lot of brown paper form packaging then why not use that to wrap your presents this year? You can decorate the presents with natural elements. 

Use Reusable Crackers

 

Reusable crackers were something that I hadn’t even considered before. I had just decided not to have crackers at all which wasn’t ideal because I do feel that crackers really make a Christmas meal special.

 

I decided to have a Google to see if there were alternatives and I came across a few websites that sell ready-made reusable ones. Some even come complete with a bang (obviously not reusable but probably compostable as they are generally made of cardboard).

 

We got ours from a shop called Keep This Cracker. Check out my post below to find out more.

 

Related Post: Reusable Christmas Crackers – Zero Waste Lifestyle

 

If you don’t want to buy ready made ones you can always attempt to make your own reusable ones.

Reusable Christmas Crackers

Use Reusable Napkins

 

Every year I used to buy those packs of disposable napkins to match the colour theme of our Christmas table. They would get used once then go into the bin. Last year I decided enough was enough and purchased a pack of plain white reusable napkins.

 

I have written everyone’s names on the little labels that are attached to them so each person has their own napkin. This means that they can be reused at meal times, as long as they aren’t covered in mess.

reusable napkins at Christmas zero waste lifestyle

Make Natural Decorations

 

Ideally, we should all be reusing the same decorations every year but sometimes things need replacing. Why not go for a walk and gather up some pine cones and holly and create your own.

 

Alternatively, if you’re not the arty type then try the charity shops for second-hand decorations. Having worked in one for 8 years I can tell you for a fact that they get a lot of decorations in!

natural Christmas decorations zero waste

Give Experience Gifts instead of Things

 

Gifting an experience rather than an actual present is about as zero waste as you can get. There are lots of companies online that offer all sorts of experiences. In previous years I have bought a virtual reality session for my nephew, singing lessons for my sister and a vineyard tour & tasting day for my Father.

 

My favourite place to purchase experience gifts is *Groupon UK. They have some amazing deals. We’ve bought all sorts from there before including short breaks away, courses and spa days.

Buy Reusable  Gifts for Friends & Family

 

If you still want to give actual gifts rather than experiences then why not buy reusable products. There is a whole range of different items item out there from reusable shopping bags, coffee mugs and metal straws. Check out my zero waste gift guide below for more ideas.

 

Related Post: Zero Waste Gift Guide

Give Homemade Gifts 

 

If you are handy in the kitchen then why not make some homemade gifts. Start collecting glass jars a few months before, fill them with your homemade product and decorate them with leftover ribbons. If you don’t have any ribbon or jars then try asking for some on the free sites such as Freecycle or *Preloved.

 

I recently made my own toothpaste and my Mother has asked me to make her some as a Christmas present. So it doesn’t always have to be food.

make homemade Christmas gifts

Use Up Leftovers

 

If you know what you are planning to eat over Christmas then do a bit of research beforehand to see what you can make from the leftovers. We always end up with a roast soup that we either eat on boxing day or freeze for another day.

Send eCards

 

There are lots of online photo editing sites where you can create your own Christmas cards. Personally, I use *Canva for all of my photo editing needs. Alternatively, you could use a company like Paperless post.

 

Once you have created your card you then simply send it via email or on social media rather than by post.

Keep Cards to Make Gift Tags Next Year

 

I have been doing this for several years now and find it works really well. Yes, it does mean that after Christmas I end up with a bag full of used cards that I have to keep for a year but that doesn’t bother me.

 

I don’t want to stop others sending us cards as I know it’s something that people like to do. At least if I reuse them I feel I’m doing something positive to reduce waste.

 

Related Post: Thrifty Christmas Name Tags

 

So what about you? What are your top tips for having a zero waste Christmas? Leave me a comment below with your suggestions.

 

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10 tips for a zero waste Christmas
10 tips for a zero waste Christmas

About Gina Caro

Gina is a content creator and award-winning blogger. Her aim is to help you live a more sustainable & simple life.  Her blog covers zero waste, minimalism, wellbeing & thrift. She currently lives in Cornwall with her partner, two kids and Charles the dog. 

Georgina Caro Gypsy Soul