Holidays create a lot of waste– even Valentine’s Day. Candy, chocolate, cards, wrapping papers and ribbons… we do a great job at showing the people we love they’re special to us, but how can we show the earth a little love too? Much of the environmental cost associated with gift-giving can be reduced with a bit of awareness. Here are a few recycling tips to help you enjoy your Valentine’s gifts in an eco-conscious way:
- Greeting Cards. Cards are made from paper, paper is made from trees, imagine the impact if everyone recycled their greeting cards, oh jeez! Paper cards can be put right in your recycling bin. If it has music, foil, or plastic add-ons, remove them before recycling.
- Candy. Aluminum, plastic, and paper wrappers– oh my! Many candy wrappers are made from mixed materials that are not recyclable. But, cardboard candy and gift boxes are. Just be sure to remove any plastic inserts or foil from the box before placing it in your bin.
- Wrapping Paper. Like candy wrappers, many gift wrapping papers have mixed materials that make them un-recyclable (shiny foil, glitter, lamination). If it’s just paper, throw it in the bin! If it’s mixed material, save to reuse in the future. Save ribbons and bows to reuse in the future as well. If you’re wrapping gifts for someone else, consider choosing a material that can be reused or recycled, like fabric.
- Flowers. The crinkly plastic wrap, or cellophane, that your flowers come with cannot be recycled. You could save it with your other gift wrapping material to be reused, or throw it in the trash. If your flowers come with tissue paper that is just paper, you can place that in the recycling bin. If you have a compost bin or a green waste bin, you can put your flowers in there.