Last Valentine’s Day, my kids brought home dozens of cards, boxes of candy, and plastic bobbles that ended up in the garbage and gave me loads of landfill guilt. Rather than contribute to the holiday proliferation of unnecessary plastic crap, I’m trying to find a few ways our Valentine’s Day can be a little less disposable.
Here are four ways to make your Valentine’s celebration more eco-friendly.
1. Pick up a planatable heart
These adorable hearts from Etsy shop KaBloomz are plantable paper and include wildflower seeds that will bloom long after all those conversation hearts are gone. They’d make lovely decorations for a class party, or can be slipped into envelopes along with cards.
2. Make your sugar rush orangutan friendly
The development and expansion of palm oil plantations is endangering orangutans, with the population estimated to be around 50,000 in the wild. Palm oil is a key ingredient in lots of chocolate. Luckily, you can choose chocolate that’s made with responsibly sourced palm oil, like Hershey’s Kisses or Rainforest Alliance Certified Dagoba chocolates.
3. Create recycled Valentines
If you’ve got a few spare toilet paper rolls, scrap paper, and an eager preschooler, you can make these easy heart stamped creations. Or, print out a few of these (free!) printable cards on recycled paper for the whole class. If you’d like to make something more, recycled crayons make great Valentine’s Day goodies. I’ve made them as party favors, and they’re always a big hit.
4. Give a gift that keeps on giving
Instead of another World’s Best Dad, Teacher, or Grandmother mug, consider giving a charitable gift card that the recipient can then send along to a nonprofit like Conservation International or the Nature Conservancy that helps protect the planet.
If you need more ideas, check out this list delicious fare trade chocolates to get for your sweetheart.