There’s nothing like another commercialised gift-giving occasion to induce a collective sigh of angst from the eco-conscious.
‘Gah! I’ve only just finished packing (and giving) away everything from Christmas!’ I hear you protest.
I feel you, buddy. It’s not that we don’t love making our loved ones feel special but it’s all so overdone – the cards, the flowers, the wasteful packaging and retail signage, the never feeling done with your shopping because there’s so much pressure to keep buying. A few ‘just one mores’ later and you can’t walk in your walk-in.
My husband and I stopped celebrating Valentine’s Day a long time ago, and this year will be no exception. It isn’t because the romance is dead; it’s that I just yesterday removed the Christmas wreath from my door, and I couldn’t possibly muster enthusiasm for another consumption-fest. My son’s birthday falls just prior to V-day too, which already brings about more spending, socialising and new stuff in one week than this introverted minimalist can tolerate.
As a couple, we’re more about experiences, and will happily forego material tokens of affection in favour of a yearly holiday, the odd kid-free dinner at a restaurant and our annual footy membership. Everyone loves a good pressie, though, and when we do gift, I tend to get excited by tediously practical items that will be used forever and sweet handmade goodies that scream heartfelt.
If you’re feeling the Valentine’s spirit a tad more than I, I know you’ll love this assortment of handmade and earth-conscious gift ideas that are thoughtful, rather than wasteful.
Beeswax food wraps are a fantastic natural alternative to clingwrap and plastic bags, to keep food fresher for longer. Use them to wrap any food imaginable, cover bowls of leftovers in the fridge. They’re perfect for covering produce that’s often cut and used over a few days, like watermelon and large onions.
You can buy done-for-you beeswax wraps in the prettiest patterns imaginable, like these beauties from The Beeswax Co, but nothing says ‘I love you’ like working with hot wax to make something for your beloved.
I kid! Beeswax wraps are super simple to make if you can get your hands on a pre-mixed block of beeswax, oil and resin, like this one from Sustomi, and you won’t need to handle the melted wax at all.
Making your own beeswax wraps is lovely because you’re unlimited in the fabrics you can work with and it is so flippin’ cathartic to make something from scratch with your bare hands. Click on over to this page for the DIY instructions.
Ever Eco Safety Razor
I never thought I’d admit this in writing, but I’m a touch obsessed with this razor. In addition to its sleek stainless-steel composition and saving on a tonne of plastic waste, when you switch from disposable razor heads, this cool customer delivers the smoothest shave you’ve ever had. Available in matte black and rose gold, it’s equal parts practical and pretty.
There has never been a more cost-effective and just downright effective method of showing your partner that you care. What’s perfect about love tokens is that you can customise them with the acts of service that your partner appreciates the most and he or she can cash them in when they’re in need of some TLC. There are some great printable coupons available on Etsy, or you can get crafty on Canva and create your own, just be sure to print on recycled paper or card.
Vegan Bamboo Makeup Set
This gorgeous professional makeup brush set, crafted from uber soft vegan bristles and compostable, sustainably sourced MOSO bamboo handles, will be on every beauty buff’s wish list. Created by Australian not-for-profit, Brush it On, who donate one hundred percent of their earnings to nature and wildlife conservation, the set includes eleven multifunctional brushes for a flawless face, every time.
Massage + Body Oil
Handmade body oil will be the perfect complement to the love tokens above. I don’t know a person alive who doesn’t enjoy a massage and who wouldn’t love a blend of fragrant, nourishing oils that can double as a daily body moisturiser? Use any combination of macadamia, avocado, rosehip and jojoba oils (avoid oils that solidify, like coconut), add in a few drops of vitamin E oil and calming essential oils, like frankincense, lavender and orange. Up the eco factor by reusing an empty glass bottle or jar from around the home. You can dress up the bottle if you wish, by tying on dried flowers, gumnuts or leaves with twine, and voila! A gorgeous little gift that will be used over and over and can be refilled, once empty.
We at the Little Eco Shop would love to know if you celebrate Valentine’s Day with an eco-friendly twist. Please do share if you try any of the above DIY gift ideas or create one of your own. Wishing you a love-filled V-day in any of the glorious forms love can take, whether that be friendship, family time or romance.