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Recyclebank's Top 10

Recyclebank’s Top 10 Ways To Show Landfills Some Love This February

By Recyclebank |

Landfills deserve our love! Give them some time off by making sure all your Valentine’s Day gifts and decorations don’t end up in the trash can.

Saying, “I love you,” with Valentine’s Day plans and gifts is pretty much a given, but you can also say, “I love the Earth,” by taking a few extra steps to divert waste from the landfills — without diverting attention away from your loved ones, of course.

Here are our top 10 ways to cut down on waste this V-Day. We’ve got tips for those on the shy side of sustainability, and for those who are ready to take their relationship with Earth to the next level.

1. Choose local flowers.
Imported flowers need to be flown or trucked in from afar, AND refrigerated along the way, so we definitely recommend snagging those flowers from somewhere more local (as local as your backyard, if you have some winter flowers growing). And, imported flowers usually come wrapped up in cellophane — as opposed to some kind of paper — which is not recyclable.

Read More: Say it With (Sustainable) Flowers

2. Next Level: Give a flower plant.
Those local flowers on their own would still eventually make their way to the trash (unless the recipient has a compost bin). Instead of risking it, give a potted plant that will last through future Valentine’s Days and be as eternal as your love (aw)!

Read More: 5 Double-Duty Houseplants: Ferns With Benefits

3. Buy unwrapped bulk chocolates.
Then, package them in reusable bags for your loved ones. This avoids all the extra (and rarely recyclable) packaging and wrappers from those individual chocolate hearts. And besides, what recipient wouldn’t LOVE a bulk amount of chocolate?

Read More: Intertwined: For All You Snack Fiends

4. Next Level: Make your own chocolate truffles.
If you’re skipping that cliché store-bought box of chocolates anyway, it might be worth the extra effort to search the Internet for a chocolate truffle recipe and just make your own from scratch. This is sure to show your loved one how much you care — and by buying all the ingredients yourself, you can control what kind of impact you make: Sustainably-harvested cocoa? Organic cream? Ingredients in recyclable packaging?

Read More: Q&A: Valentine’s Day Chocolate

5. Skip the balloons.
Heart-shaped balloons are tempting as decoration or gift, but they’re not recyclable and don’t fare well in landfills. For festive décor that makes an impact, turn to decorations that could be made with recycled content and are more likely to be recyclable or even compostable, like streamers, tissue paper pom-poms, garland, and bunting.

Read More: Proper Green: A Balloon’s Second Life

6. Next Level: Make your own decorations.
Instead of spending money on decorations — decorations that are usually made out of multiple materials that can’t be recycled, and usually aren’t good enough quality to make it to next year’s festivities — make your own out of repurposed items in your house. Better yet, try making more seasonal decorations that can last past the 14th.

Read More: Why We (and You) Love to DIY

7. Buy recycled or recyclable wrapping paper.
For all your gifts (big or small), we recommend looking for wrapping paper that’s recyclable (think kraft paper), and making sure how you use the paper doesn’t make it unrecyclable (think: Adding glitter).

Read More: Proper Green: Give A Little Love to Your Gift Wrap

8. Next Level: Skip wrapping paper completely.
There are tons of other options for your gift wrap — including, but not limited to, reusable ribbons, bows, boxes, and bags.

Read More: 10 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap Tips

9. Repurpose used paper and other materials into valentines.
Those scraps of paper you have lying around your house are just begging to be made into DIY cards for your loved ones. Not only does this give a second life to paper bound for the trash recycling bin, but it also shows your loved ones you took the extra effort to make them a handmade card (be sure to avoid glitter here, too, if you want to recycle the card once you’re done).

Read More: 10 LOVE-ly Ideas

10. Next Level: Forget traditional valentines altogether.
If you’re sending out a bunch of valentines this year, consider going paperless with e-cards. …okay, an e-card may not create the same heart-warming feeling as something homemade, so save the DIY for your one true love. Make a scrap paper valentine, or go big with a sweet message chalked on the driveway.

Read More: Green ways to say “I love you”

How are you spreading the love this February? Share your V-Day plans in the comments below!

Share with Your Friends & Family
  • Cindy W. 1 month ago
    When I first got married, over 40 years ago, I told my husband I didn't want cut flowers. I asked if he would give me a plant that I could later plant outdoors. Since then he has given me plants and has even added IOU's for picking out bulbs or plants when the time was more seasonable. I love our yard with all its many flowers, shrubs and tree's.
  • tommy b. 1 month ago
  • Gina L. 1 month ago
    Always try to shop at local businesses. It saves on energy and revenue. Do your neighbors well.
  • tommy b. 1 month ago
  • Lucy S. 1 month ago
    Get at least one more use out of a "dead" mylar baloon: carefully cut open bottom and use to enclose a gift. Tie closed with used ribbon or yarn or whatever.
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