Valentine's Day. Like it or loathe it, there’s no getting away from it. On the one hand, it’s a lovely way to stop and appreciate that special someone you care about - if you are hashtag blessed enough to have a special someone of course. And on the other, it feels like pure commercial nonsense and you don’t know what’s worse - being handed a heart shaped box of chocolates and a dozen roses from a petrol station or spending an evening in the local Italian with every other couple in the neighbourhood - or both.
In recent years, myself and my husband have sort of let it slip by, although the fact it lands just four days before my birthday often means we often incidentally plan weekends and parties around it, and usually the kids are on half term then too. Last year we had a Valentine's party on the 14th and asked all our friends - single and coupled-up to come. The year before that we rented a cottage with friends on a country estate hotel and all decamped to the cocktail bar for V-day drinks after a day in the pool.
Saying all that, its always lovely to have an excuse to give a gift - and it doesn’t have to be just to that ‘special one’ either. On a day like Valentines it’s brilliant to reach out to a girlfriend who’s feeling a little low or a relative that needs perking up. It’s a nice way to touch base with a family member and an old friend and of course it also feels good to give your other half something they might like and use too. In a bid to cut down on plastics and waste and steer clear of adding landfill, here are five ideas for gifts that love the planet and that anyone would appreciate.
- Who can argue with greenery as a house gift? Lots of plants have symbols - for instance olive trees bring peace and longevity, so you could look for one that resonates with you, or failing that just pick one that won’t immediately die. Choose a style-led planter - such as this one from Bergs Potter which is inspired by a pot made at the royal castle of Fredensborg in 1860.
2. Another pressie idea that works across the board is an attractive water bottle, which can be carried everywhere whether working or working out. I love the Smart Hydration design from eco water bottle company Equa which has a sensor that tells you when you need to rehydrate and I like the pretty blush colour too.
3. Another no-brainer of a gift for a thoughtful girlfriend or yoga loving boyfriend is a gift set of tea varieties. This sustainable gifts set by For the Love of Tea includes a selection of China Jasmine, French Earl Grey and Tummy Tea and sounds delicious.
4. Natural candles and candle holders are the perfect gift for friends and family. I love Join candles which are vegan, eco friendly and cruelty free and made in the UK. I also love the idea of Moxon which is a platform for emerging designers making handmade products. These Cone candle holders which are made from solid hand-cast concrete and metal are stunning.
5. The ideas for home decor gifts with a conscience in the form of hand-woven and handmade, are growing at the rate of knots. Natural textures and handicrafts from companies such as Source, and Handed By are all worth investigating, but I particularly love Carapau which is a home accessory brand that donates to wildlife conservation charities. Nobody is ever too old for a teddybear and how cute is Joe the Kangaroo?