Written by Amanda Hiruta and Evert Mussche
Love is in the air! Can you feel it? Valentine’s day is a favorite holiday for many of us, a real chance in our busy, crazy lives to stop and do something nice for someone important. Just a gesture of appreciation for them to know we care, we love them and we are grateful for them being in our lives, being themselves.
It doesn’t have to be a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a husband or a wife. Many times, it’s our best friend, or someone we’ve met recently, but have been making our lives a whole lotta easier.
If Valentine’s day is all about love, then we should make it clean, fun and ethical, just like love is. If love is in the air, let’s not contaminate it with agrotoxins or CO2.
So! We took a little time to think about a few ideas for you to make a good and fun Valentine’s, without taking the fun out of it! Let’s get rolling!
Gift time, attention and experiences
This isn’t just cheap talk, we all know these are the best gifts! Especially for Valentine’s, when people tend to search for more intimate moments, you can always choose to go to an art gallery, or a good restaurant. Maybe even make a romantic dinner at home, so you can enjoy a pleasant conversation. No need for wrapped gifts or any kind of clutter, just good memories that will last longer than any piece of clothing or paper card.
We know that depending on where you live and multiple other reasons this isn’t easy, but if you’re making something at home, like a dinner or even gifts, you might want to consider buying your ingredients and material as clean as possible. Visit your local farmer’s market and choose organic fruits and vegetables if you have the time! Aside from being eco-friendly, this kind of grocery shopping can be a lot of fun.
Search for fair-trade flowers and chocolate
Most of the flowers and a good part of chocolate we find to buy are from South America, poor countries, filled with farms exploiting underpaid workers and using all kinds of poison. We don’t want to be part of that, right? If flowers and chocolate are important or have some meaning to you and your valentine, it could be a good solution to find fair-trade sellers! It shouldn’t be so hard, and you can always try your local farmer’s market!
Also, don’t forget about your local vegan chocolate options. They can be pretty, cruelty-free and yummy!
If you want to know more about fair trade and why we should encourage it, go to Fair Trade Certified and read a little about it! We promise it’s going to be worth it.
Make the gift yourself!
Nothing speaks to the heart more than something made by the very hands of your significant other, right? That’s what Valentine’s is all about, something that comes from the heart, much more than expensive gifts or fancy dinners. So, why not make something from scratch and show to your valentine how much you care?
Now, you don’t have to be all artsy to make a real good gift. To try and help you with it, we are going to leave here three DIY ideas for you to make a really special Valentine’s Day!
DIY Conversation Heart Soaps
What you’ll need:
3.5 oz./104ml white melt and pour soap base, of choice
.05 oz./15ml skin safe fragrance oil of choice (or half this amount for essential oils)
Color bar(s) of choice (or liquid soap colorant)
Mica(s) of choice
Heart shaped silicone mold
Spray bottle with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
Utensils for stirring
Large glass measuring cup
This conversation heart soap recipe yields four guest sized soap hearts.
Begin by using a digital scale to weigh out 3.5 oz./104ml of your white soap base. Cut into square chunks and place into a glass Pyrex measuring cup. Heat in the microwave in 20-30 second increments until melted, stirring in between heating. Keep a close eye on your soap and be careful not to let it boil.
Now add a small section – 1/4 of 1/2 – of one of the squares of your soap color bar and stir until it melts completely. Start with a small amount at first and add more color only until you reach the desired color. (The white soap base is used to give your conversation hearts soaps a pastel look. If you prefer not to have pastel conversation heart soaps, use a clear melt and pour soap base instead.) Alternately, you can use any other skin safe soap colorant of your choice.
Now weigh out the fragrance oil you want to scent your soaps. (If you prefer to use essential oils, use half the amount.) Stir the fragrance into the soap base.
Now pour the soap evenly into four of the heart shaped cavities of your silicone mold. Spritz the tops of the soap with rubbing alcohol to remove any air bubbles.
Now repeat the same process with any additional colors you’d like to use.
Allow your conversation heart soaps to cool completely before removing them from the mold. (You can speed up the process by placing the mold onto a cutting board before you pour the soaps, then easily transfer it into the refrigerator once all of your soaps have been poured.)
Once your soaps have hardened and cooled, remove them from the soap mold cavities. Place them with the larger, smooth side down onto your work surface. Now use your alphabet stamps and mica to stamp your message(s) onto your conversation heart soaps. Don’t forget to test the stamps first! You can use some of the plain soap for some testing.
When you’re done, package your little hearts in some reusable container and gift them to your favorite person!
3-Ingredient Brown Sugar Lip Scrub
What you’ll need:
Melted, cooled coconut oil
Brown sugar (organic if possible!)
Just mix it and use it! The amount is up to you, really. You can choose some nice tins or glass jars for packaging, and homemade cosmetics like this one usually can be stored up to three months.
You can use it in your hands, legs, face, etc. Not only in your lips. The coconut oil is a great moisturizer and the brown sugar exfoliates beautifully! The cinnamon is just for a nice smell. You also can use vanilla extract or peppermint essential oils, for example!
Valentine’s Chocolate Crunch Hearts
What you’ll need:
85g / 3 oz 70% dark chocolate, broken into chunks
2 TBSP digestive biscuits (or shortbread / sugar cookies), broken into small pieces
2 TBSP almonds, roughly chopped (optional; can substitute with more biscuit/cookie pieces)
Freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries, for sprinkling
Heart-shaped silicon molds (about 7cm in diameter)
This makes 2 cupcake sized chocolates.
Add a small amount of water to a saucepan and place a heat-proof bowl on top. Add the chocolate to the bowl and gently heat, stirring occasionally until the chocolate has fully melted.
In a small bowl, stir together the biscuit (cookie) pieces, almonds (if using) and 2 TBSP melted chocolate, until fully incorporated.
Coat the bottom of a silicone mould with 1 tsp melted chocolate (this will give the chocolate a nice, smooth bottom). Add 2 TBSP of the crunchy mixture and press to level as much as possible. Add 1 TBSP melted chocolate and tap the mould on the work surface to remove air bubbles and level the top. Sprinkle with freeze dried berries and place in the fridge until solid (about 2 hours). Repeat the above steps for the second chocolate.
When set, the chocolates should easily peel out of their moulds.
Store in an airtight container, the chocolates will keep for weeks in the fridge. They are also freezable.
This entire recipe can be made with vegan, dairy-free and/or gluten-free ingredients!
Custom portrait of you and your loved one
In what way can we help this year? We offer custom illustrations and this could also be a portrait of you and your partner or friend! Contact us through this form to get in touch.
I guess this is it, for now! We’re gonna drop the links for all of these DIY’s at the end of this post. We wish you and your loved ones a great Valentine’s Day, filled with love, kindness and inspiration! Tell us about what you decide to do for your Valentine’s in the comments below!
Thank you so much for reading!
Go visit our webshop if you’re interested in eco-friendly gifts.
Remember to love, be kind and support small businesses!