Smart Living | Lifestyle

Lifestyle | 10 Feb 2022

Valentine’s Day 2022: Planet-friendly gifts with a difference

Make Valentine’s Day 2022 one to remember by using the latest tech to design your perfect date and treating your other half to a gift that’s both romantic and sustainable.

Great gifts for the tech lover in your life

Smartphone photo printer

While having a high-performance smartphone camera in your pocket means never having to miss a special moment, it also means most of those precious memories are only recorded in digital form.

With a portable pocket- or handbag-sized printer, such as the Canon SELPHY SQUARE QX10 at £150 or the Polaroid Hi-Print at around £74, you can share instant physical copies of your best smartphone photos, creating keepsakes that are perfect for popping in your wallet, sticking on the fridge, or perking up your desk at work.

As they use photo print-sized sheets or stickers, there’s less wasted paper, too.

Lego flowers

Flowers are a Valentine’s Day staple. But colourful flowers such as red roses don’t often bloom in the UK in February, which makes the environmental impact of buying a bunch even more damaging at this time of year. Instead, you could opt for a longer-lasting version of the traditional bouquet.

Lego Flower Bouquet

Credits: LEGO

Lego’s Botanical Collection includes a 15-stem Flower Bouquet that includes plastic roses, poppies, and daisies and costs £45 from Lego’s own online store.

Make it ready to present to your Valentine or give them the box and have fun building the bouquet together.

Pacsafe tech bag

Made of recycled nylon, the compact Pacsafe Econyl Tech Anti-theft Crossbody bag has zippered pockets to keep all your tech safe.

Great for travelling, whether long distance or just to work, it’s more useful than romantic. It is lightweight and comes with a shoulder strap reinforced with steel wire, so it should thwart thieves who try to steal your kit by cutting it off you.

It’s currently priced at just £36 on Amazon.

Lovebox for Lovers

Aimed mainly at those in long-distance relationships, the Lovebox for Lovers is a cute, connected messaging box with a heart on the front that spins when it receives photos, notes, stickers, and drawings the owner can then view on the LCD screen inside the wooden device.

Messages are sent using the Lovebox app (Free: iOS/Android), but this is probably a gift that works best if both partners have one. So, while one Lovebox for Lovers costs £112.99, you might feel it’s worth teaming up with your significant other to get the full effect by buying two at £205.98.

Apps to help you plan the perfect Valentine’s Day date

OpenTable (Free: iOS/Android)

Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest nights of the year for restaurateurs (or at least it was before the pandemic). Finding a delightful eatery for your Valentine’s meal is simple when you use OpenTable – even if you’ve left it to the last minute.

Just put in the date and time you want to eat, then refine your search using filters such as cuisine and location. Once you find a place you like the look of, you can browse the menu, check out the decor, read reviews, and reserve a table through the app. If you change your mind, don’t forget to cancel your booking so that another couple – and the restaurant – don’t lose out.

If you’re still in need of inspiration, the OpenTable app currently has a couple of carousels on its homepage highlighting romantic restaurants.

Yummly (Free: iOS/Android)

If you’re planning to stay in and cook a special meal for Valentine’s Day this year, Yummly is a great place to look for recipe ideas that are based on your favourite cuisines and any allergy requirements as well as any ingredients you want to avoid.

Food ingredients on a table

Credits: Yummly

You can also search by keyword; “romantic” brings up a list of recipes for everything from Beef Wellington to chocolate tart, while “sustainable” leads you to recipes for smoothies and seafood dishes. There are even drink ideas such as sparkling rosé sangria.

Eventbrite (Free: iOS/Android)

Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday this year, so many pre-planned Valentine’s events are taking place the weekend before. But whenever and however you want to celebrate, Eventbrite makes it easy to browse and book local experiences.

If you’re in London, for example, you can choose between a variety of events ranging from a Valentine’s Ball to a cake decorating workshop. In the Manchester area, the options on offer include a 10-course vegan tasting menu and a candlelight Vivaldi concert at Manchester cathedral.

Between (Free: iOS/Android)

If your aim is to keep the love alive well beyond Valentine’s Day, one way to make your intentions known is to invite your significant other to join couples app Between. This can be used on Windows and Mac computers as well as smartphones.

Once you’re both signed up, the app is designed to be used as a private space to send intimate messages, store photos, make voice calls, and prevent unnecessary arguments by sharing your calendars and tracking important dates such as your anniversaries.

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