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low waste valentine's day gifts

Photo by Kelly Sikkema

Author: Laura Yurincich

Valentine’s Day can be a great day to cherish with your loved ones and let them know how much they mean to you. This year, don’t let waste be a part of your gift. Bare Market Blogger Laura talks you through how to spread love not waste.


Single or not, I have never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. That being said, a few years ago when I started dating my partner, I realized I would have to start doing a little something for him for Valentine’s (he is more of a romantic than I am). Since then my gifts have expanded to include my friends and family. This year I want to keep it low waste, so I’ve brainstormed some alternatives that can be enjoyed by all.

For Your: Significant Other

Skip: The low quality heart shaped box of chocolates from the drugstore.

Swap: Instead, purchase one of our locally made, fair trade, organic chocolate boxes that come in recyclable + returnable packaging. Bring the ribbon/box back to bare market after you've enjoyed your chocolates and we will return them to our supplier. Or go one step further and try making your own!

Skip: The “spa kit” filled with single-use plastics and disposables..

Swap: Create a relaxing spa environment at home with our wide selection of bulk, package-free, and refillable spa products. Light a candle, run a bubble bath and play music to set the mood. Then stay in and enjoy the night.

Photo by Miroslava 

For Your: Mother

Skip: The flowers wrapped in plastic.

Swap: Shop our dried flower bouquets this Valentine's weekend. Or bring a piece of newspaper to the florist, have them create a new bouquet and wrap it in the newspaper. This way the packaging can be recycled. It also means a hand-picked bouquet!

Skip: The non-recyclable card with a glitter heart.

Swap: Shop our selection of 100% recyclable greeting cards, made in Toronto! Or if you know your mom prefers something tangible, why not create your own card with a personalized touch.  

For Your: Friends

Skip: The cheaply made singing teddy bear.

Swap: Head to our store, and fill a mason jar with their favourite treats - jelly beans, sour cherries, Skittles - the possibilities are endless! You could even attach a cute handwritten note telling them why you value their friendship.  

Skip: The exotic plant arrangement (wrapped in plastic) from the florist.

Swap: Why not plant a tree in their name? Organizations such as A Living Tribute and Tree Canada are dedicated to restoring Canadian forests and will allow you to plant a tree in honour of someone. (Not Canadian? The Canopy Project is a tree planting organization that works internationally)

Remember, Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to show your loved ones why you appreciate them and nothing says ‘I care about you!’ more than a thoughtful, sustainable or hand-made gift. Happy Valentine’s Day!


About the Author: Laura graduated with a Master's Degree in Political Science from McMaster University, and is currently a hardworking bureaucrat. She was drawn to bare market for its package free laundry detergent, but has stayed to share her experience transitioning to a low waste lifestyle.

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