Creative Ways to Recycle for Valentine’s Day
February 8, 2016 tantone2015Love is in the air and your loved ones deserve the best on Earth…and the Earth deserves your best, too! Over 180 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year…that’s a lot of waste(d money) heading to landfills.
According to the National Retail Federation’s Valentine’s Day Consumer Spending Survey, here are some interesting facts:
- $2.1 billion will be spent on flowers.
- $3.6 billion will be spent on a night out.
- $4.8 billion will be spent on jewelry.
- And the total amount Americans are expected to spend on Valentine’s Day this year? $18.9 BILLION!
Instead of spending money on Valentine’s Day, why not put the thoughtfulness back into the holiday and handcraft something for that special teacher, sweetheart, parent or child? Here are some great ideas:
Re-using last year’s cards
- Picture Frame – Using an Exacto knife (with a parent’s help), cut a rectangle the size of your picture out of the middle of a large, rectangular Valentine’s card (we suggest using one that has an all over pattern like a floral). Tape your picture the back side, so that the picture is showing through the hole. Hole punch the top corners and feed a ribbon through. Tie the ribbon, allowing for a few inches of “hang”.
- Candy Bar Wrapper – Choose a card with a fun saying. Position the sating in the middle of your sweetie’s favorite candy bar. Trim edges so that they are ¼” narrower than the candy bar. Keeping the saying in the center, wrap one flap around the bar and secure with tape. Repeat with the other flap.
Fresh-cut flower alternatives
- Potted plant – Instead of cut flowers, which last only a week or so, pick a plant or flowers like tulips or even a hydrangea that can be planted outside when spring arrives. Your thoughtfulness will last well past Valentine’s Day!
- Sugar Cookie Bouquet – Use your favorite sugar cookie recipe to make cookies in flower shapes. Before baking, insert popsicle sticks into your unbaked cookies as the stem. After they cool completely, use your sweetheart’s favorite colors to decorate. Use a recycled mason jar or other “pot” to hold your flowers (add floral foam to hold the sticks in place.) Recycle wrapping paper or an old Valentine’s card to wrap around the jar. Secure with tape and a colorful ribbon (raffia works great!)
For the kids
- Recycled Crayons (and other gifts): https://www.parentmap.com/article/15-valentines-day-crafts?page=4
- TP Love Bugs – http://www.redtedart.com/2015/01/13/toilet-roll-love-bugs-valentines-day/
- 7 Budget and Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Crafts: http://www.revolutionariesblog.com/2014/01/7-budget-and-eco-friendly-craft-ideas.html
Other ways to support going green
- Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but we like a healthy planet, too! Check out resale and pawn shops for great deals on vintage baubles.
- Go organic. If chocolate and flowers are still on your radar, choose from a great selection of readily-available organic, free-trade chocolates and organic flowers.
What if you’ve already gone and bought the goodies? Here are some recycling options:
- Valentine’s Day cards – Recyclers will take old greeting cards either through curbside recycling or at their drop-off centers. You can drop them off at Tantone (www.tantone.org) which employs adults with developmental disabilities in Taney County.
- Candy boxes – Re-purpose into organizers for crafts, jewelry or other small items. Unfortunately, candy boxes are not recyclable and millions end up in landfills.
- Flowers – The best way to go is by composting. Put them into your own compost bin or one that belongs to a curbside or drop-off recycling program.
Categories: Recycling and Conservation
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