One of the many things I love about my husband is that he refuses to buy store-bought cards. Not for birthdays, not for Christmas, not for Valentine’s day. How did we get to the point where we’d rather pay $5 for a pretty picture and cheesy words from a card company to show a loved one that we care for them? I would argue that a thoughtful, handwritten letter on plain 8.5′ x 11″ printer paper is infinitely better any day of the year.
As it turns out, investing a little effort into de-commercializing your Valentine’s Day is something that your loved one AND the planet will both appreciate. So let’s vow together to actually love well this year by considering these eco-friendly questions as you shop:
- Is this product going to end up in a landfill next month, or are you investing in something timeless?
- Can I buy this item without packaging, or packaged with recyclable materials?
- Is there a similar product I can purchase from a local business?
- Does this price reflect the item’s real value, or is it marked up because it’s covered in pink hearts?
Here are some of my favorite green Valentine’s swaps!
- Leave the Valentine’s aisle and stroll over to the garden center to purchase a living plant instead of 12 cut roses. Even if your partner can’t keep any plants alive, the real plant will last longer every time and can generally be purchased without plastic packaging.
- Plan some time to sit down and write a handwritten letter. While a greeting card might eventually get tossed, letters can be treasured forever.
- Support a local chocolate company. My all-time favorite chocolate bar is the Ooh La Lavendar bar by Markham & Fitz! In addition to the exquisite chocolate, their packaging is also compostable and recyclable, so it’s a win for the planet too!
- Give an experience instead of a stuffed animal: a date night to a local coffee shop, a professional photo session, a trip to the theatre, etc.
- Get creative and find low-waste alternatives for the kids’ class valentines exchange: bake heart-shaped sugar cookies from scratch, make your own trail mix, print your own valentines cards on recycled paper, or give out fruit instead of candy! (Look how cute these “cuties” valentines are!)
- Buy your Valentine’s decorations from your local thrift store to keep them out of the landfill, and reuse them next year.
Leave a comment below if you think of any other zero waste or eco friendly Valentine’s Day swaps! Sharing is caring! 💗