Valentine's Day isn't exactly the most environmentally friendly of holidays. Between the millions of paper cards sent and received (or, in some cases, thrown right in the trash),
the air-freighted red roses, and the highly non-ecological nylon lingerie sets and polyester teddy bears that sell out across the nation, it can seem like, well, a bit of a trashy holiday. Literally. Fortunately, however, we have gifts for your sweetie that will help the environment while also making their heart grow fonder. From eco-friendly chocolate to buying them an acre of rainforest, it's absolutely possible to have a green Valentine's Day without sacrificing romantic value.
It pays to do your research. If something claims to be environmentally friendly, look into why: is their packaging recycled, do they fund charities with their profits, or is it some other aspect? The market for green products is expanding every year, so you're not short of choices — and can probably buy yourself a little treat too. Whether you're buying a gift for a beloved somebody this Valentine's Day, looking to drop a hint about what you yourself might like, or are investing in a present for yourself (because hey, you deserve it), this list has got you covered.
1 An Indoor Herb Garden Click & Grow Indoor Smart Fresh Herb Garden Kit, $73.09, Amazon.com
Flowers are all very well, but wouldn't your beloved be more enthused by an ecological gift that keeps on giving? Indoor herb gardens are all the rage at the moment as new technology lets people maintain lush kitchen herbs that would be the envy of Michelin starred chefs. The
Click & Grow Indoor Smart Garden is a popular option, and you can customize what your lover grows — from sweet strawberries to a bouquet of chili peppers. Get it here . 2 Packed With Purpose Gift Box Packed With Purpose Gift Box, $55.00, Packed With Purpose
If you want to shower your partner with eco-friendly gifts and can't decide on one, a gift box is likely a good option. Packed With Purpose does varieties that include
eco-friendly hot sauce, environmental chocolate, lip balm, body butter and other guaranteed green gifts from independent merchants, all packaged together with their stories. Much cooler than a generic gift box. 3 A DIY Treat Yo' Self Kit Organic Spa Bag, $5.79, ECOBAGS Bath Bombs, From $5.95, LUSH
If you're on a budget, an eco-friendly bag can be a good option — but getting a boring canvas bag for shopping doesn't exactly have the flair of romance. ECOBAGS produces an
organic spa bag of 100 percent organic cotton that you can fill with green bath goodies from a purveyor like LUSH. For the partner who really enjoys a bit of pampering. 4 Honey Bee Wildlife Flower Seeds Honey Bee Wildlife Flower Seeds, from $10.95, American Meadows
If you're looking for a gift for a keen gardener, seeds are always a good plan — and wildflowers that will help the bee population are a brilliant one. American Meadows produces a
Honey Bee Wildflower seed mix that's designed to encourage bee populations across the U.S., and contains 19 different wildflower varieties that are GMO free. Wildflower seeds are increasingly popular as wedding favors, so they're getting a very romantic reputation. 5 Reusable Snack Bags Reusable Star Pattern Snack Bags, from $10.00, Beego Handmade
If you pack your partner's lunch for them when they go to work (or they've made a vow to eat more home-packed meals to be greener), this little present will show you care. It's a reusable
snack bag from Beego Handmade in a beautiful constellation print, in certified organic fabric that's also waterproof. Your sweetheart's daily snacks have never looked so cute. 6 Staghorn Fern Staghorn Fern, $35.00, BelleDecorDesigns
Nothing says love like a
live staghorn fern. Well, maybe not exactly, but it's certainly a very impressive gift that will improve air quality, look beautiful, and only requires light watering once a month. It also comes in organic soil mix and is mounted on a recycled roof slate, so it's got all the green credentials you need. Cue the "flourishing just like our love" card. 7 Artwork Sleepy Fox Print, $49.00, Uncommon Goods
Artist Janie Stapleton has a range of beautiful
animal prints available at Uncommon Goods, and not only will they look gorgeous on a wall, they also do good. For every purchase of her prints, $5 goes to the charity American Forests, and buyers can also add an extra donation at checkout. American Forests is devoted to saving precious forest land across the U.S., from Yellowstone's bear habitats to Michigan's sugar maples. Perfect for a partner who loves roaming through trees. 8 An Acre Of Rainforest Ezra Shaw/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images An Acre Of Rainforest, $35.00, World Land Trust
What's more romantic than carving your names into a tree? Funding an entire acre of rainforest in your beloved's name. The
World Land Trust operates a Buy An Acre fund that allows you to fund the protection of rainforest lands across Brazil, Ecuador and Argentina against illegal logging and habitat destruction, while Rainforest Concern uses donations to support acres in places from Chile to Sri Lanka. 9 Jewelry Songbird Necklace, $95.00, Brilliant Earth
If jewelry is the way forward for your Valentine's Day, make sure you're getting fair-trade, ecologically obtained gifts. Brilliant Earth has made its name for conflict-free diamonds and gemstones that are mined in low-impact ways, and
this songbird necklace with a single diamond is one of its range of more affordable presents. 10 Chocolate Chocolate Bar, from $3.99, Divine Chocolates
Chocolate is a staple for Valentine's Day, but making sure that a bar has been handled in ways that are environmentally friendly can be tricky.
Divine Chocolates is here to help. The brand is the only 100 percent Fairtrade certified chocolate company that pursues environmentally friendly packaging, and it's available in the U.S. from $3.99 for a bar. If you want to invest in animals, Endangered Species Chocolate is your option. 10 percent of all profits are donated to protecting American animal life, and the chocolate itself looks completely divine. 11 Tea Organic Tea Sampler, $26.95, The Tea Spot
For the tea connoisseur, a romantic bunch of new flavors can be an inspiring gift — and now you can source organic teas that have low environmental impact.
The Tea Spot provides an organic tea sampler with six of its single-estate, sustainable teas, including white, green and black. And you're also doing good while you're buying it; 10 percent of all the profits go to community charities for human health. 12 Seeds Of Love Plantable Hearts, $19.50, Fancy That Love
Save the glitter bombs and restrain yourself from store-bought confetti. They may look romantic, but showering somebody in them can have a
severe environmental impact. Instead, go for heart-shaped plantable eco-confetti. Sprinkled over everything in sight, they're adorable; but they really come into their own when they're put to work in soil afterwards, and sprout with wildflowers including daisies and snapdragons. A long-lasting gift that won't drive you mad when you find it under the couch six months later.