Whether you’ve been struck by Cupid’s bow or not, it’s hard to escape the fact that a big day that is quickly approaching … We’re talking about Valentine’s Day! And while there’s definitely no arguing that the commercialization of this holiday is especially over-the-top, we can’t help but think that there is something very special about the legend of Saint Valentine. Celebrating love is a beautiful thing to do; and whether you’re spending the day with your friends, family, or someone very special, we encourage you to consider your love for our planet too!
Our team has spent some time reflecting on how we can ensure we keep waste minimal as we share in the festivities of this special day. Below, you’ll find our top 5 tips! Comment and let us know how you’re keeping planet earth in mind on this special day.
1. Hand Made Cards
We get it … Glitter is everything. But the problem with so many of the store-bought valentines is that they are covered in glitter, plastic, or other ‘add-ons’ that make them impossible to recycle. When it comes to wishing our loved ones a special day, we’ve learned that a hand-made card done the old fashioned way (recycled paper + ink!) can sometimes mean the most. Trust in your creative spirit & create something from the heart. Your recipient will appreciate that not only did you take the time to really think about them on a personal level, but they’ll also love that they can recycle the card guilt-free when they’re done displaying it proudly on their fridge.
2. Dining Responsibly
A popular way to spend Valentines Day (or Gal-entines / Pal-entines, depending on how you choose to celebrate!) is with a nice dinner out. We love food as much as the next person, so we totally get why this is a go-to for so many people. Our main concern when we go out to restaurants, however, is always food-waste. An easy way to combat this problem is to toss a couple of reusable containers in your purse before heading out. This way, if you have leftovers on your plate you can bring them home and enjoy them the next day. We recommend bringing your own containers from home, because most of the take-out containers used in the food-service industry are one-time use, and this is an easy way to reduce your environmental footprint!
3. Bulk Candy
If there is one word that comes to mind before ‘love’ when we think of Valentine’s Day, it’s ‘candy!’ Especially popular in offices and with kids at school, candy is a fun and festive way to celebrate this holiday. Unfortunately, store-bought candy comes wrapped in disposable packaging that typically ends up in landfill. An easy way to avoid this however is to haul your re-usable containers off to the bulk food store in your area, and load them up with your treats of choice! If you’re sending your kiddo to school with individual candy hand-outs, we recommend finding small recyclable paper bags or paper boxes to package the candy in for each of their lucky friends. Your little one can even decorate the box or bag with a hand-drawn photo or note especially made for each kid in their class.
4. Experiences Over Things
We know this has become a popular gift-giving approach in recent years, and we couldn’t agree more! Sometimes, the gifts we give end up littering our landfills in a truly unnecessary way. But non-physical gifts like experiences (think: a hiking date, a couples massage, a picnic plan for the summer, a home-cooked meal), can be an excellent way to avoid clutter in your home or waste in the landfill, while getting the chance to really bond and celebrate your love together.
5. Roses Are Read, Violets Are Blue … Waste Diversion is Important Too!
Giving flowers for Valentine’s Day?! How sweet! But we encourage you to think about Waste Diversion in the process. When you head to the flower shop, it may be worth your time to select an arrangement with minimal packaging. Bring your own vase or purchase one there, rather than having them wrap the bouquet in disposable paper or plastic packaging. Ask them to avoid using ribbon (if tying the flowers is a must, see if they could use twine that you can later compost), and be sure to let them know that you don’t need any ‘add-on’ plastic decorations. Most importantly, when the flowers inevitably die, we encourage you to compost them and give back to the earth!