Since it is Valentines Day I was remembering back to my youth when I was in elementary school. In elementary school parents buy cards for everyone in the class and attach candy to them. This is basically a requirement seeing as if you are the only one not giving a valentine you are at high risk of becoming the class outcast. I remember just as every child I loved getting all the candy, but once I looked at the card once it became unnecessary waste.
According to Hallmark 188 million Valentine’s day cards are exchanged in America every year which doesn’t include the packaged valentines that schoolchildren give. Although this paper waste is not as much as wrapping paper during Christmas it still has a huge negative impact on the environment.
For an alternative to buying valentines a great blog I found called ecocrazymom found a great way to create up-cycled homemade valentines from envelopes. Another idea is to make recycled valentines from cardboard and used printing paper. The information on this can be found on How to.
Some alternatives when sending cards to your loved ones are use cards that are plantable paper or seed paper. Some websites to check out for cards are botanical paperworks, Eco Party Time, and Green Field Paper Company.
So I hope that some of you consider this for next year and for all the holidays that use cards.
Will you use some of these resources? Do you have any ideas on how to create green valentines?
Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.
~ Kahlil Gibran
- Every year hundreds and hundreds of presents are given around the holidays.
- Christmas time has become a consumerist holiday, it’s all about the gifts.
- Billions of dollars are spent on Christmas.
Deck the Dumpsters with Tons of Waste
- With gifts being the focus of the holidays all of those presents need to be wrapped.
- Half of the paper America consumes is used to wrap and decorate products.
- Gift-wrap and shopping bags totals 4 million tons annually in the US.
- 15 trees per ton of wrapping paper is used, that’s 60 million trees for our gifts!
- Average American uses 2 pounds of wrapping paper a year.
- If you want to use wrapping paper use recycled paper (30% recycled paper saves 7.2 trees).
- Reuse wrapping paper, bags, ribbons and bows, year after year.
- Wrap with fabric.
- Use newspapers or paper bags as gift wrap. (You can decorate paper bags with stamps, paint or stickers to make them more festive).
- Use reusable cloth bags. (There are a wide range of them you can find online if you search for reusable gift bags).
- You could make your own cloth bag by buying fabric. What is great about these is that they can be reused every year. If you want to be fancy you could make the bags reversible so that you had two patterns on one bag.
- Wrap your gift in a reusable shopping bag.
- Instead of using ribbon that has plastic in it use spare yarn, or fabric.
- Use a small little gift to decorate (a doll, a ornament)
- Include Towels in your gift and use them to wrap it.
- Use a scarf as a decoration on your gift.
- Instead of buying decorations use natural things such as plants or flowers.