After a year of “staying home” and avoiding gatherings, I have been more motivated than ever to make holidays at home with my small family feel festive. Because everyone is staying home and social-distancing from one another, the idea of mailing Valentines to our loved ones feels like a nice way to bridge the gap a little bit. If you’re also in the mood to spread a little extra cheer without completely compromising your minimalist or eco-friendly values, I compiled a list of (mostly) sustainable Valentine’s Day gift ideas just for you!
My love language is “words of affirmation” so I am personally a big fan of a thoughtful, handwritten note. You don’t need a fancy card or stationery to make someone’s day! The most sustainable option here is to make a card or write a note using materials you already have. But if you feel like investing in stationery, try to find cards made using recycled paper or a material like seed paper. The recipient can plant their seed paper Valentine’s Day card in soil and grow flowers!
A bouquet of flowers is always beautiful. Consider purchasing flowers from a local florist (or better yet, a local flower farm!) and having them wrapped in compostable butcher paper. If you’re crafty, you could also create your own DIY bouquet using native plants and flowers in your area.
I also like the idea of a nice dried bouquet that could be displayed for as long as the recipient would like. If not, another great option is a potted houseplant. The recipient will always think of you and your loving gesture each time they water it.
Because most restaurants aren’t currently open for dining in, a romantic date night out isn’t a realistic (or safe!) option. Luckily there are great alternatives. You can plan a romantic night in by ordering takeout from your favorite restaurant. Or you can try your hand at a fun recipe from a new cookbook.
If sweets are more your style, treat your loved ones with baked goods! Try a fun recipe or order from a local bakery. Alternatively, you can package bulk candies in reusable jars, add a cute label and gift those to your closest friends. Lastly, artisanal coffee, tea, and wine are great choices for friends who don’t share your sweet tooth.
Now that you have written your cards and prepared your gifts, it’s time to set the mood! Since most (all?) of us will be celebrating with our Valentines at home, setting the “mood” is a nice way to distinguish this special night from every other evening spent together at home. Start by putting together a playlist. This can include whatever music you like! I love winding down with some Bossa Nova.
Next, dim the lights and bring out all of your candles. Don’t have candles? Invest in quality beeswax! Keep them in good condition by using a snuffer and wick trimmer. I recommend avoiding scented candles, but if you’d like to make your room smell nice opt for an essential oil diffuser instead. Romantic music, lighting, and scent will be sure to make your evening feel special.
I like the idea of incorporating an activity into your evening plans that serves as a break from a nightly Netflix habit. Two-player card games are a fun place to start. I like this deck of cards that also incorporates conversation starting questions on the back side of the playing cards.
You can also turn the evening into a night of pampering for yourself or for both you and your partner! A nice face mask, salt bath, dry brush, and body or massage oil all add up to my kind of evening.
No matter how you choose to celebrate, I wish you a lovely, romantic, and safe Valentine’s Day.