Zero Waste Valentine's Day Ideas

I find you either LOVE or HATE Valentine's Day. I've met very few people who feel indifferently. I love Valentine's Day, but probably not for the reason you think...

Zero waste valentines ideas from www.goingzerowaste.com

Valentine's Day is the one day of the year it's socially acceptable to use really bad puns to tell everyone around you how much you care about them.

Growing up, I would always look forward to making Valentine's Cards. In fact, I would easily forgo Christmas cards to send Valentine cards instead. 

I think everyone can agree that 12' tall oversized teddy bear and other holiday themed junk destined for the landfill isn't too desirable. But, that doesn't mean you can't be festive! You can still have so much fun without cheaply made junk. 

gift ideas for significant others:

a nice meal:

Whether you go out or stay in, I still think spending quality time with your loved one over a delicious meal is the perfect way to celebrate anything.  

a shared experience:

Get your significant other the best gift of all... spending time with you - duh. 

  • Couple's massage
  • Museum tickets
  • Sporting event
  • Go to a festival
  • Plan a pub crawl
  • Take a painting class
  • Skydiving
  • Go see a band 
  • Go to a play
  • Go to an amusement park

There's a common misconception that buying an experience has to be expensive. There's a lot of local shows and events you can go too that aren't super pricey.  Catching a local show or festival in town is on average $10-$20 at the door. You don't and shouldn't have to spend a lot of money to have a good time. 

homemade sweets: 

Homemade sweets are ALWAYS a big hit. Growing up if I had a crush on someone, you can guarantee that I would make my mom's famous oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies. I would bring them to school and intentionally have "too" many left over. I couldn't possibly eat them all or let them go to waste. I'd have to share them with someone... 

I would typically bring them to school in a large tupperware container, and I'd always bring the container back empty. Mission: Success

Related: How to make Valentine Truffles

gift ideas for friends:

Typically I give my friends smaller gifts if gifts at all. It was always a much bigger deal to give gifts growing up. Probably because we saw our friends every day at school.

Now that we're grown and don't see each other everyday, quality time has become the most important thing we can give each other. 

Getting together with busy work and home schedules takes a week or two of planning, unfortunately. I find simple gifts to be the best. 

cards:

I have always loved my handmade card tradition. I keep them pretty simple. I outgrew glitter and puff paint a while ago. Instead, I stick to paper and ink. Without all the extra razzle dazzle, they're compostable or at least recyclable. 

What they lack in sparkle, they make up for in puns. It's easy to drop these in the mail if you'll be away from your besties. 

coffee:

9:30 is my favorite time of day. It's earlier than 10:00 which feels like a lazy man's hour, but not so early as 8:30 so you still have a little bit of time to sleep in. I love to meet my friends for coffee around 9:30 on weekend mornings. We can quickly catch up and then start our day. 

A perfectly nice treat would be to treat a friend to their morning cup. 

drinks: 

An alternative to coffee, meeting up after work for a drink. Another simple meeting without the commitment of a full meal. It's great to catch up and easy to sneak these get-togethers into our busy schedules. 

This way I don't have to block off an entire evening, and I get to catch up with friends way more often. 

*As a note, if offering coffee or drinks or any other small get together to a gift as a friend, always offer with a date and time. That time may not work for the other person, but then it's not an open-ended invitation, and the offer will lead to a time/date negotiation. 

Leaving it vague, means the other person will have to contact you for the gift redemption. It can make things a little awkward and make it feel like the offer was an empty gesture. 

gift ideas for kids: 

Growing up we always had Valentine's parties at school. We would share Valentine cards with the whole class and sometimes small gifts. Here are some ideas I'd use if I were a mom in this situation. 

bulk candy in small mason jars:

Most grocery stores, even ones without bulk sections, typically have bulk candy. This is the most expensive option, but it would be SO cute. I would buy four-ounce mason jars and fill them with bulk candy. I'd buy the candy in a big cloth bag and then separate the candy out into individual jars when I got home. 

I'd make round tags from craft paper and place them between the rim and the metal lid so the card would show on top. I'd make a cute pun about whatever candy or treat was inside.

You don't have to limit yourself to candy. You could put homemade treats or dried fruit or nuts inside too.

  • Reese's Pieces: 100 "Resse"sons I love you!
  • Reese's Pieces: I love you to pieces!
  • Gummy Bears: Life without you would be un-BEAR-able.
  • Raisins: You're always raisin my spirits
  • Candy Corn: It may be corny, but I'm glad we're friends
  • Nuts: I'm nuts for you!

I'm sure you get the picture by now. 

homemade cards:

You could also do what I always did and spend an evening hand making cards. 

homemade platter:

If you could get away with bringing a large container, like a cake carrying tray, full of treats, that's what I would do. Like bring a dozen or two donuts with a big sign on the front.

(I linked to the cake tray I actually have and I'm very happy with it. But, they do make some really cool metal trays too.) 

"I donut know what I'd do without you!" 

candy in paper boxes: 

If you have to bring unopened treats in original packaging opt for boxed candy like nerds or milkduds. You can wrap cute little sayings around the box for an added little festivity. 

Do you have any Valentine day recommendations? What would you do? 

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