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  • Jenica Barrett

A Zero Waste Valentine's Day

Updated: Jan 5, 2020

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, the usual plastic hearts and cartoon themed love cards come in truck loads and fill up every grocery store counter. And, you guessed it, most of the traditional Valentine's Day gifts are all plastic based and disposable. That means that while you are saying "I love you" to your significant other, you're saying "**** you" to the planet. That's a little hypocritical if I do say so myself. So this year, consider some alternatives to make your special day not quite so trashy!

1. Make your own chocolates!

Chocolate candies are notorious for their plastic wrappers. Next to Halloween and Easter, Valentine's Day is one of the most candy filled holidays of the year. Thankfully there are a few easy fixes if your sweetie has a real taste for chocolate! Making your own chocolates can be a very simple and sincere way of telling someone you love them. Here is a chocolate recipe (also vegan!) that Greenify Me shared to get you inspired. If making chocolates seems a little too out of reach or you're reading this just minutes before your date, bulk candies are also a good idea! With a cute glass jar and some multi-colored chocolate drops, you can avoid all the plastic waste and still end up with the same result!

2. Cook dinner at home instead of going out!

When you eat out, you give up the control over sourcing ingredients that are plastic free. If you cook at home though, you can buy all the ingredients in bulk and from companies you trust! Especially for those couples that normally eat out a lot or don't have time to sit down together for dinner, cooking can be a nice change of pace. Consider making a recipe that's a little exotic or something like fondue that can seem extra special! If you do choose to eat out, don't forget your reusable container for leftovers!

3. Do a fun activity together!

Most holidays focus specifically on gifts and Valentine's Day is no different. But doing a meaningful and fun activity together can be just as impactful on a relationship! Picnics in the park, rollerblading, dance classes, and pottery workshops are just some examples of the kinds of things you could do together.

4. Make your own cards!

Cards are one of the most wasteful things given out on Valentine's Day. Not to say that they don't carry meaning, because many cards are incredibly beautiful! But most people only hold on to them for a day or two and then stuff them in their closet or send them straight to the recycling bin. Instead of purchasing pre-made cards, making your own cards out of recycled paper or wrapping paper scraps is a great way to reduce waste. You can also choose to skip the card altogether or send E-cards to someone a little farther away.

5. Buy a gift that's sustainable and meaningful!

If you do choose to purchase a gift this year, make sure it is one that your partner will appreciate and enjoy long after the day is over. Invest in something that they have been wanting for a long time and source it from a responsible manufacturer. Do your best not to get caught up in the bears with bows and heart shaped toys because they are low quality and won't mean as much as a well thought out gift. And remember, most of the time experiences will mean more in the long run than gifts do anyways!

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