*This blog post and shop widgets may use affiliate links. Read the disclaimer about affiliate links and PR products/gifting HERE.
My sustainable gift guide for Valentine’s Day last year was the first gift guide that I pulled together and I knew it wouldn’t be the last. At the time, I aspired to make gift guides for every occasion, but ya know, life happens and here we are a year later! Now that I have had more time to prepare and dig into what occasions and what items to put into the gift guides, this year is sure to be more fruitful! To check out my Sustainable Valentine’s Day Gift Guide from last year with items from some of my favorite brands still today, click HERE. To check out the first thekyliebee Sustainable Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Kids, keep reading!
Giving gifts is one of my love languages. However, becoming more aware of the production, materials, and a product’s full life cycle has become increasingly more important to me as I learn more about consumerism and how it contributes to the plastic pollution crisis. There really is no “out of sight, out of mind” when it comes to throwing items away. Even the smallest piece from a popped balloon can take hundreds of years to biodegrade and may inadvertently be mistaken as a jelly fish to a migrating sea turtle. It’s important to ask the questions, “where was this sourced?” and “where will this end up?”
I picked the items in this gift guide because they not only allow us to continue to feel like we are spoiling those we love, but also because the creators of these products aim to reduce the amount of waste in our environment with social and environmental justice in mind.
Check out these eco-friendly treasures…
- Hippo Rattle Plush – made with GOTS certified organic cotton and filled with naturally hypoallergenic corn fiber filler, plastic-free, safe for babies and sensitive skin.
- Wooden Rattle – made of natural untreated and sustainable beechwood. The rattles have a natural antibacterial quality and encourages fine motor skills and coordination development.
- Teether – made from 100% natural rubber, Certified ASTM, and free from BPA, PVC, Parabens, and Phthalates.
- Apple Park Books – made with FSC certified paper and printed with soy ink, these books are non toxic and great beginner books to start reading to your little one. Collect them all!
- Thrifted/Secondhand Goodies – one of the most sustainable options for getting gifts is to get them second hand. Many times you can find new and gently used baby gifts at your local thrift store to help divert perfectly usable items from eventually filling a landfill or polluting a waterway.
- Chocolate – this is a necessity, especially for the kids! Check out this list of the 5 Best Sustainable Chocolate Brands. You can find several of these in your local grocery store!
- Recycled Paper Card – these Valentine’s Day gnomes are adorable!! And what’s better is that they are hand painted on recycled paper.
- Pura Waterbottle – I’m a huge Hydroflask fan, but when it comes to reusable water bottles that can be used for every stage of life, Pura water bottles can truly grow with a child from infancy on.
- Bath Crayons – Lila was one of those kids that hated getting into the bath, but once she was in there she never wanted to come out. She loved playing with bath toys and now these bath crayons will be a great addition to Levi’s bath toy collection. Because these are handmade and do include a bit of honey in the recipe, I will wait to give these to him until a later date though. Something to look forward to!
- Sustainimals – I’ve been a fan of Sustainimals and their mission for a while now. Julia with Sustainimals saw an opportunity to divert plastic bottles from landfills by turning them into stuffed animals that children can enjoy for years to come. Shop the whole collection HERE!
- Books – The UN’s SDG Book Club is a great way for kids to learn about the world around them and why it’s important to value the diverse cultures and environment that this world has to offer.
- Bows – these bows are so cute and the best part is that they are made of upcycled vintage fabric that helps keep discarded fabric out of landfills.
- Pokemon Notebook – Pokemon has been around for a while, but it seems like in the last few years it’s been making a comeback. This upcycled notebook is perfect for the new generation of Pokemon fans.
- Box of Valentine’s Activities for Kids – this gift could be considered the gift that keeps on giving. Each token inside encourages small activities to do with your child on Valentine’s Day and beyond.
- Thrifted Goodies – like with the babies section above, one of the most sustainable options for getting gifts is to get them second hand. You can find new and gently used kids gifts at your local thrift store and help divert perfectly usable items from eventually filling a landfill or polluting a waterway.
OLDER KIDS & YOUNG ADULTS
1. Chocolate – simply put, everyone loves chocolate.
2. Hydroflask Water Bottle – we are huge Hydroflask fans in this house, but what it really comes down to is that we value and use reusable water bottles daily. There are several great brands of reusable water bottles out there, but Hydroflask is definitely at the top of the list for us.
3. Jewelry Box – this upcycled jewelry box is gorgeous with the floral detail and, although I put this in the older kids and young adults section, I still think the little ones would like to put their costume jewelry in something like this.
4. Poetry Art Work – for the artist and poet in your life.
5. Upcycled DIY Candle Making Kit – a simple craft that encourages and teaches others to reuse the jars you have on hand instead of purchasing a new candle in store.
6. Seeded Card – if you would like to make your own seeded card, check out this step-by-step guide, otherwise seeded cards from local or independent shops can be a great way to show your love on Valentine’s Day and beyond.
7. Wildflower seed bombs – this is also a gift that keeps on giving. These handmade seed bombs with perrenial and annual wildflowers inside are Valentine’s-themed and give you the opportunity to teach your child about how plants grow.
8. Recycled Metal Jewelry – Atom&Matter and Edge of Ember are a couple of my favorite brands. They are sustainably made with recycled metals and crafted with conscious diamonds. If you are looking for more of a beaded look, this sustainably made bracelet is one of my favorites, as well.
9. Upcycled Kids Sewing Kit – Lila and I are starting to get into sewing and stitching fabrics together to make beautiful pieces. This kit uses upcycled materials to make a functional pouch your child can use well after it’s made. The only things not included are the needles and scissors.
10. Perfume or Cologne – these are classics around Valentine’s Day to give as gifts. Check out this blog post by Lucielle Salomon for her research into options for ethically sourced and sustainably made fragrances.
11. Thrifted Goodies – like I mention in the sections for the other age groups, one of the most sustainable options when purchasing gifts is to buy second hand at your local thrift store or secondhand platform.
GIFT WRAP, BAGS, & BASKETS
One of the best parts about giving gifts on Valentine’s Day is the gift basket or how the items are wrapped. There are sustainable ways to accomplish this without buying something made of plastic that altogether contributes to the plastic pollution problem. Instead consider the options below as reusable and sustainable alternatives!
1.Use what you already have at home and dress it up a bit!
2. Basket or bucket from the thrift store/second hand shop
And that’s a wrap…
As I mentioned before, giving gifts is my love language so you can probably imagine that figuring out how to continue giving gifts to those I love while supporting social justice initiatives and reducing the amount of waste that is produced has been a topic I have become very passionate about.
With that being said, Valentine’s Day, like other holidays and special occasions, can be extremely wasteful and harmful to the environment as a whole. If you look further than the surface level of single-use plastic pollution that eventually makes its way to the ocean, you may also find deeper issues such as social injustice and unfair labor practices behind some of the items we buy on a whim at the grocery store. “On [Valentine’s Day], it is custom to give stuffed animals, cut flowers such as roses, things wrapped in plastic, balloons, and an infinite number of objects that will remain in our environment between 100-500 years. These objects are often manufactured in developing countries where its production was exploited under a wage lower than the required minimum. All those gifts that, in the store, on the shelf, can look fascinating. They carry with them a production line battered with pain, exhaustion, destruction and more.” Becoming a more conscious consumer and purchasing gifts and products in general should not be a passive process.
Click HERE to subscribe to my blog for future zero waste, sustainable, and plastic-free alternatives to products that we use everyday.
Until next time,