One of the most important things when looking for an anniversary gift for your spouse or loved one, is to personalise it as much as possible. We know that there are some people who may prefer a more expensive gift rather than someone very personal, but actually finding that sweet spot of a personal gift that shows how much you care plus potentially spending a bit more than you might normally – well then you are onto a winner.
Another element of finding that perfect anniversary gift is when the present reflects your loved one’s values. More and more people are becoming more conscious of their spending habits and want to give their hard-earnt cash to an ethical organisation or company. That conscious spending can lend itself particularly well if you are looking for a gift for your loved one who values where money is spent – showing you are mindful of what matters to them shows that you care and that you share the same values.
Here’s some ideas when looking for that ethical anniversary gift. But are there any that we have missed? Feel free to comment below with further thoughts or comments.
Ideas for Ethical Anniversary Gifts
Plants Instead of Flowers
Most of us love getting flowers. A fresh bloom looks so beautiful in a room and adds colour and freshness to the atmosphere. But do you ever feel a bit sad when the beautiful bloom starts to fade within a week or so.
A solution to that, for those people who love greenery, is to buy a house plant instead of cut flowers. They obviously last much longer and add a beautiful green and calming vibe to your home. There is also an added benefit that some leafy plants (such as peace lilies, snake plants and ivy) are air purifying!
During the covid pandemic, house plants underwent an explosion in popularity and interest, and with it, discussions arose around about the amount peat that was purchased to keep them healthy (which has its own ethical discussions… find out more about peat and other considerations) but on balance they will be ethically better than cut flowers.
Why not look into this gift idea for your loved one -did you know for example each star sign is linked to a flower and plant?
Plant a Tree
Taking the ethical plant theme a step further, another gift idea could be to buy your loved one the opportunity to plant or sponsor a tree.
There’s many organisations out there that offer tree sponsorship or a tree growing initiative. With the need for more oxygen producing trees and all the benefits it brings to the planet (carbon offsetting for example) it could be an ideal gift for someone concerned about environmental issues.
In the UK, the National Trust, offer tree and sapling planting sponsorship.
The US has similar initiatives; you can see a list here.
Jewellery is a lovely thing to buy for a spouse or loved one for your anniversary. It’s traditional and a lovely keepsake to reflect your love. However, there have been discussions in recent years about the sourcing of gems and metals that go into jewellery, and how ethical and environmental is it.
How can you make sure you are buying ethical anniversary jewellery? Well, the definition ethical jewellery is: “jewellery that has no negative impact on the people who make it, or the environment they’re produced in”(source: Vogue).
The most ethical way to buy jewellery and reduce negative environmental impact is to find suppliers who specialise in recycled metals like silver, gold or brass. That way you are extending the life-cycle of that material, and it impacts less on the environment. If you want to find gems that have been sourced ethically (you remember the film Blood Diamonds?) make sure you do your research and look into the brands with the sustainable and ethical values that reflects what you or your loved one believes in.
Buy Fair Trade and Ethical Items
Spending your money consciously can be something that the more ethically-minded among us do daily and consistently. That is why when it comes to buying gifts for your loved ones as an anniversary gift, showing that you have thought about what is important to them, is a good way of showing how much you care. You could for example look into getting fairtrade food such as coffee or chocolate.
There are plenty of ethical chocolate or coffee brands out there if you do your research. Similarly, if you buy clothes as a gift, make sure it’s from a brand that has no suppliers in its supply chain that could be accused of slavery issues, unfair pay or bad working conditions.
Even better, you could try finding a vintage clothing shop to find an anniversary gift for your loved one. The clothing industry has been accused of being one of the highest carbon emitters (Source BBC) so buying vintage is good way to increase sustainability and the lifecycle of materials.
Local Experiences – Putting Money into Local Economy
Your loved one may well be the kind of person who prefers experiences over items and gifts. This is not unusual, and many people prefer this to items as they love creating beautiful memories with friends, families and loved ones. This can be especially relevant with their spouse at anniversaries. An ethical way of doing this could be to look for local experiences that puts money into a local small business. Not only does it cut down on air-miles, but it means that instead of your money going to “the man” (i.e. any big, faceless, corporate business) it could go to a local company – even better if it’s a family run business where you can meet the people that run it.
For example, what about afternoon tea at a local family-run café nearby; is there a local one-off hotel that you always wanted to try me; or maybe a local business to support with a voucher or experience? Put your thinking cap on and see if you could come up with an idea that treats your spouse and supports a small company that needs your business! Also, a small business might be more willing to personalise your experience, especially if they know you might come back! Why not give it a go!