Valentine’s Day Waste Reduction Tips

Valentine’s Day is a day to show a little love to the people in your life. Unfortunately, our culture tends to show love in ways that produce a lot of waste. Keep the Earth in your heart this Valentine’s Day by doing what you can to reduce your waste!

1. Make homemade sweets.

Skip the candy and make your own delicious treats! Baked goods and homemade snacks make great gifts and, if packed in reusable containers, avoid unnecessary packaging and wrappers. Here is a recipe for vegan chocolate truffles. Homemade treats can also be a great way to keep Valentine’s Day healthy! Check out these recipes for ideas.


2. Buy a local potted plant, or seeds to plant with your loved one.

Store-bought bouquets are less than ecologically ideal – they are grown thousands of miles away with a slew of toxic pesticides, must be stored and transported in refrigerated warehouses and trucks, are shipped to the U.S. via cargo plane, and wrapped in non-recyclable plastic, all to be enjoyed only for a few days and then thrown in the garbage. Read more about the environmental impacts of cut flowers here.

Instead, buy in-season plants from local growers. Cut down on hazardous waste and chemical exposure by opting for organic options. Find a local grower here, or stop by your local farmer’s market or natural food store to purchase fresh plants or seeds.


3. Rethink Valentine’s Day cards.

Cards can be sweet, but they are not always necessary. Send e-cards, make phone calls, pay your loved ones a face-to-face visit, or make a card on recycled paper. Check out these plantable greeting cards that grow wild flowers!


4. Give the gift of quality time.

Rather than getting each other disposable gifts, enjoy some quality time with loved ones. Cook a meal together (be sure to compost your food scraps and use reusable food storage containers for leftovers!), go wine tasting, watch a movie, take a community class, go out for drinks (and ask for no straw), enjoy live music, get tickets for a sporting event, etc. Experiences can be much more meaningful than tangible gifts that will eventually be tossed in the landfill.


5. Enjoy dinner by candlelight with eco-friendly candles.

If a romantic candlelit dinner is on your Valentine’s Day agenda, consider investing in beeswax or 100% soy wax candles for this special occasion – or make your own!


6. Pamper yourself – zero waste style!

Try your hand at making homemade non-toxic personal care products for yourself or a loved one, such as body butter, bath salts, lip balm, solid or spray perfume, or face masks. Or make a date out of it and invite a loved one to try out a DIY with you!


Check out the links below for more waste-related Valentine’s tips!