Love it or loathe it, Valentine’s Day brings an onslaught of cards and gifts that, just like Christmas and Halloween, produces an enormous amount of waste. If you decide to celebrate, how can you have an eco-conscious Valentine’s Day?
Choose a card wisely…
…and not just for the sentiment it conveys. At the very least, opt for a non-glittery card (as embellished cards are much harder, if not impossible, to recycle). But when you consider that each year 18.7 million Valentine’s cards are bought in the UK, perhaps this is the year to deliver your heartfelt messages in person and skip the card altogether.
Swerve novelty gifts
While shelves are stocked with polyester teddy bears that you hope they may treasure forever, the reality is that this type of item is hard to dispose of and contributes to the UK waste crisis and can end up in landfill. If you can’t resist the temptation of a novelty gift, make sure you’re mindful of disposing of it, whether that’s donating it to charity, selling it, or recycling it properly.
Be mindful about flowers
Producing commercially grown flowers involves significant energy and pesticides. They can sit in massive refrigerated warehouses before being shipped hundreds of miles. Instead of defaulting to a dozen red roses, choose an organic, locally grown, seasonal option instead. You could even buy longer-lasting faux blooms but consider how these will be disposed of in future too.
Make good chocolate choices
Much like Easter, Valentine’s Day chocolates often come in excessive packaging. If you decide chocolates are the way to go this Valentine’s, avoid flow-wrap and vacuum plastic as these are types of non-recyclable film. To be mindful about your carbon footprint, choose a local chocolatier such as West Sussex’s Montezuma’s. Their Organic Milk Chocolate Giant Button Jar is made of glass, so a good zero-plastic option.
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