Greeting cards, the most obvious Valentine’s Day symbol, contribute to a big spike in annual waste production. Approximately 180 million Americans exchanged Valentine’s Day cards in one year alone, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This makes the holiday a great opportunity for both showing affection and recycling. That’s why Waste Management urges its customers to consider alternatives to conventional gifts and to find something that not only express the spirit of the holiday, but also supports the EPA’s “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” goal.
“Valentine’s Day doesn’t produce as much waste as Christmas or even Easter, but when you consider what goes into a card or some flowers, it’s easy to understand that a few small changes make a big difference for the environment,” said Eloisa Orozco, spokesperson for Waste Management of Southern California. You can be good to your loved ones and the environment on Valentine’s Day. It just takes a little forethought and creativity.”
GREEN GIFT IDEAS
• Valentine cards - Save trees in the name of love by sending an e-card. If the card is a must, make sure it’s printed on recycled paper or make one from scratch
• Flowers - Consider planting a tree for your loved one instead of giving flowers. If flowers are non-negotiable, look for organic flowers that were grown without pesticides or purchase your flowers from a grocer or retailer that composts its pre-consumer food waste, including floral items.
• Jewelry – Consider buying heirloom jewelry from a vintage dealer. If you want to buy new, choose a jeweler whose gems and precious metals are certified ecologically friendly.
• Home-cooked meals – Show your loved ones you care by cooking with fresh, local, organic ingredients.
• Photo gifts – Using recycled materials and your favorite photos, make a scrapbook, decorate a picture frame or create an electronic slideshow.