As February 14 approaches, many are looking forward to the overflow of red, pink, and white-themed gifts for the romantic holiday. But to those conscientious about waste and the environment, Valentine's Day is a zero waste nightmare. Thousands of cards get printed and thrown out, cardboard candy boxes are left in trash bins and all types of materials that make up ephemeral objects like balloons. Here are three ways to reduce the waste this Valentine’s Day for your sweetheart and the Earth.
Tell your special someone you love them by making them a personal, one-of-a-kind card. Many materials that go into the recycling bin are perfect collage material for a valentine's day card: colorful fonts from magazines can make fun text messages, headlines from newspapers can become good material for a valentine's day pun, and photos from recycled materials can create interesting backgrounds. Putting the time and effort into creating a card from recycled materials makes your gift more unique and special to your partner, while reducing waste.
In addition, a customized e-card is a great way to send your sentiments to your loved one, without the waste. You can create your own using Photoshop or any digital art application, or use any website with customizable templates for sending e-cards.
Edible Sweets (with Edible Wrappers):
Baking a treat and lovingly packaging it in a reusable container is a big step-up from buying a mass-produced box of chocolates. From cookies to cupcakes, homemade sweets take a little more time and effort but produce a customizable, zero-waste opportunity for sharing the love. An even sweeter creation is the edible wrapper that can cover the cupcake base, versus the traditionally waxy paper lining that gets thrown out.
Most importantly, Valentine’s Day is about your relationship, not about material gifts. So make the day all about creating new memories and remembering old, good times. Try planning a zero-waste date, such as a romantic nature walk through a park or a home meal. Then, save your (old and new) memories by taking photos with a digital camera and share them in your Instagram gallery.
Overall, Valentine's Day does not have to become another waste-building holiday. With some craft and effort, you can create a waste-free Valentine's Day. If you are planning on wrapping gifts, why not try these eco-friendly gift wrap alternatives.