2012-02-21

Zero Waste Valentine's

How to have a zero waste Valentine's day:
Step 1: No one really NEEDS cards. If you are not separated by distance, then why do you need to hand your spouse a card when it would be much more special if you just showed them or told them about your love yourself. The way YOU feel, not how an author they know nothing about who writes for the card companies feels (I apologize now, since this does bring me a little guilt saying this, as almost my entire family has worked/works for Hallmark.). Anyways, there is also the option of phone calls, emails, ecards, etc. This year I sent Rob a music video "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None the Richer via email.

Step 2: Flowers and chocolates are nice, but they do tend to come all wrapped in nonsense, i.e. excessive packaging. Why not try to create something for your loved ones instead, or give them practical gifts that are also romantic. For example:
Rob got me some new undies as a gift this year (I know, tmi) but I have to say that this thoughtfulness was probably the best Valentine's gift I've ever received. He knew I needed some, and picked out some very fun colors/designs. He also knew about keeping zero waste in mind. The only "waste" were these cardboard tags that we recycled. He used a reusable bag as well, instead of taking a plastic bag given by the store.
I made chocolate covered strawberries for Rob's gift. The plastic box the strawberries came in was the only waste and was recycled. Oh, well I guess there was also the parchment paper (not wax at least). I may try to change this habit of using the parchment in the future. The chocolate came in the form of chips from the bulk bin, so no waste there.
Step 3: When going out to dinner, keep waste in mind. Try to decline straws for one. We went to a wonderful little Italian restaurant called Ricco's. Local, so that's another plus, and they had cloth napkins, nice! We didn't need them this time, but another habit to try to get into is taking your own Pyrex or containers to restaurants. This way you don't have to settle for their to-go container options. Which, sadly for most restaurants, seem to be in Styrofoam. Yuck. In the past, with the little plastic ones from Olive Garden we've at least washed and reused several times before recycling.

Step 4: Just enjoy each other and appreciate each other for who they are. This day of love is about the two of you, not about society and set consumeristic standards.

Other Valentine's ideas out there?