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Sustainable Gift Ideas this Valentines Day

Valentines Day, like many other holidays throughout the year can be a time of incredible waste!

On the 14th of February every year the amount of paper, packaging and flower waste increases substantially. Approximately 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged (many purchased in single use plastic sleeves) and only a fraction recycled.

So how can we continue to show affection and appreciation to our significant others, while also loving our planet and environment?

As Northern Ireland’s only zero waste to landfill waste management company, we are keen to help. Check out our list of local shops and producers, offering some sustainable solutions for Valentines gifts.

Bearded Candle Makers

screen-shot-2018-05-01-at-10-32-01Local candle company The Bearded Candle Makers produce some of the best smelling wax melts around. Even better, the company have moved away from offering their wax melts in plastic trays. Instead they manufacture them using reusable waxed cotton sheets and package in re-usable lined brown pouches.

UseLess Shop Derry/LDerry

The UseLess shop is one of Northern Ireland’s first zero waste retail enterprises. Open every Saturday and Sunday in the Society Street indoor market, owner Ruth stocks a range of sustainable and zero waste cosmetics, gifts and more.

Welcome Home Belfast

The Welcome Organisation’s new shop Welcome Home – is an exciting social enterprise that offers a range of creative and lovingly products, handmade by the Belfast team and participants. Perfect and a bit different for any event. Shopping with The Welcome Organisation also means your money goes towards building a positive change in the community.

Local Nurseries

dundonald-nurseriesDid you know that in the UK we spend more than £2 billion on cut flowers per year, but around 90% are imported? It is clearly much more environmentally friendly to buy flowers and plants that are grown locally.

It’s even better to give a potted plant, rather than a bouquet, as this will last through future Valentine’s Days and be as eternal as your love (ahhhh)!

Rather than hitting up your local supermarket for a bunch of roses this Valentines Day, why not visit Dundonald Nurseries or the like, who grow and sell their own plants and flowers.

Local Markets

st georges marketPlanning to avoid the crowds and make your own romantic dinner for two? Instead of purchasing imported food, why not visit St George’s Market in Belfast, Causeway Market in Coleraine, Walled City Market in Derry/Londonderry and stock up on delicious treats from local farmers and producers. The markets also contain many more plastic free options than your high street supermarket. Find a full list of farmers markets across NI here.

At Inns Market on Saintfield Rd Belfast you can purchase gorgeous organic skincare from , or local, artisan food from and !

Experiences and events

Perfume, cosmetics, jewellery and clothes are all popular gifts in February. But aren’t they a bit passé? Why not give the gift of your time and book an experience or event instead of a physical gift?

Loaf pottery pizza nightLoaf Pottery in Crawfordsburn is a social enterprise, supporting people with learning disabilities into work. They offer fantastic BYO pizza and pottery nights and much more. They even have a few Valentines themed events coming up!

The Woman Next Door is hosting a gift making workshop in Ballycastle.

Grand Opera House offer entertainment and meal packages and as a tourist venue committed to sustainability, they’re a great one to support!

Do you know a business offering sustainable gifts to Northern Ireland buyers? Get in touch and we can add them to our list.