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Valentine's Day the Low Waste Way

Want to do something special for someone you love this Valentine’s Day? Here are some lower waste alternatives to the classic Valentine’s Day lineup. 

Chocolate

Vegan and Gluten-Free Brownies

Love: The OG DIY activity -- baking! Use organic ingredients from the bulk section (including chocolate chips) to make a decadent chocolate treat from scratch. Try this vegan and gluten-free brownie recipe from our friend at Maya's Healthy Day or some classic chocolate-covered strawberries!

Like Like: Or buy from a local fair trade chocolatier. Some of our favorites are Missionary Chocolates in Portland and Nibble Chocolate in San Diego -- fair trade, vegan, and oh so delicious!

Not so fun fact: Did you know that 70% of the world’s chocolate comes from Ghana and the Ivory Coast? Unfortunately, the cocoa industries in these countries has been rife with dangerous and inhumane child labor and slavery practices, including the cocoa produced for Hershey, Mars, and Nestlé products. (FoodisPower.org) One way to make sure your chocolate fix is guilt-free? Stick to the fair trade stuff. It’s worth the extra dollar or two.

Cards

Love: How crafty are you? If you love whippin’ up a good craft, consider decorating your card. And if you’re unenthused by the construction paper mess you assembled for Valentines in kindergarten, level it up! You could even carve your own stamp for the occasion! Use recycled paper for the card or make an envelope out of pages from an old book. (Big ones like old atlases work great.)

Like Like: This is the perfect opportunity to go into one of those cute boutiques in your area and pick up a card made by a local press. Check the back to make sure it’s printed on recycled paper to support their sustainable efforts.

Flowers

Love: Choose a potted plant from your favorite local plant shop that fits their vibe and capacity to keep a plant alive.

Like Like: Find a local florist who sources their flowers sustainably. Bouqs.com is a good resource for responsibly-sourced flower delivery.

Jewelry

Love: Get some of the jewelry your special someone already owns refinished so it can sparkle like new!

Like Like: Find a local vintage jewelry shop or shop online for vintage jewelry. There are so many beautiful pieces already made, just waiting for a body to adorn!

If you’re going to be shipping your Valentine’s gift anyway, consider choosing from a jeweler that prioritizes ethical manufacturing. The Good Trade has a great list to choose from!

Lingerie

Photographer: Nicole Mason @neekmason, Model: Leigh Nishi-Strattner @Ex_Waifu, and Design: ARQ @shoparq

Love: It has to be said, the least wasteful way to do lingerie is to skip it altogether. As Reformation likes to say, “Being naked is the #1 most sustainable option.” We have a feeling you won’t get any complaints!

Like Like: Find a local lingerie boutique, like Lille in Portland. Have you noticed a theme here? Shopping local is great for your local economy and reduces carbon emissions from shipping and packaging.

Infatuated: Find a local lingerie brand like ARQ or an online retailer like Azura Bay that curates a selection of lingerie in natural materials like organic cotton and sustainably sourced silk that can eventually biodegrade and are healthier for your body.

Date Night

Love: Make them a low waste meal at home, and don't forget dessert!

Love: Gift an experience you can do together -- support your local arts by going to a comedy club, play, dance performance, or concert, or even a trip! Or make them a mixtape! JK that would be cute, but a Spotify playlist will do.

Other Gift Ideas

Love: Donate to their favorite charity. This also works well as an add-on to any gift year-round. Pick an organization that supports a cause your loved one cares about. What a great way to show someone that you pay attention to their passions and want to support it!

Love: DIY something special you know they'll appreciate like a lotion bar or scented lip balm.

Love: Art from a local artist!

Love: A low waste, sustainably sourced item they've been eyeing. Like a bouquet of olive wood cooking utensils or 

At the end of the day, Valentine’s Day is really about reminding the people you love that you value them and reveling in the beauty of that connection. You don’t have to exchange any gifts to celebrate the day and each other. Reach out to your friends and family you don’t talk to often enough. Spend time with your significant other or your best friend undistracted by your phones. Be present in each other’s company, be truthful, be appreciative, and remember that each moment we have together is precious and beautiful and what life is all about.

 -Alex

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