Valentine's Day is coming! If you're a parent, this day is no longer about chocolate, roses, and Champagne with your honey. It's about helping your kids spread some love to friends and family with cute cards, crafts, and candy. Adorable and fun, yes, but not always eco-friendly. Holidays always generate a lot of extra trash. But don't worry. You can celebrate in ways that make Valentine's Day a little sweeter for the planet as well as for your little one.
- Skip the tiny envelopes for tiny valentines. If your children make their own valentines, fold them in creative ways so envelopes aren’t necessary, or just hand them out as is. If you buy valentines, put aside the envelopes they come with for more constructive uses. Like for protecting precious items in scrapbooks (say, hair from baby’s first haircut) or for saving the extra buttons that come with your sweaters.
Skip cards all together and send emails. Kids can’t email valentines to their classmates, but they can to family members. Scan and email Valentine’s Day pictures and messages for grandparents and aunts and uncles instead of dropping them in the mail.
Use received valentines for art projects. Don’t chuck those cute cards in the recycling bin as soon as your kid comes home from school! Extend their life by using them for an art project. Your kids can make a collage out of them, color them, decorate them with glitter, or cut out the pictures. There is a lot of potential for fun here. They don’t have to go straight in the trash.
Don’t buy individually wrapped treats for parties. Go for gummy hearts, boxes of chocolates, cookies, or even doughnuts instead of cupcakes or hard candies. There is less waste but just as much enthusiasm at party time.
Use cardboard tubes and egg cartons for crafts. Make toilet paper tube butterflies, egg carton love bugs, whatever. These recyclables can easily be repurposed into a craft (you don’t have to search Pinterest for long to find ideas). Even if you’re not crafty, you can donate these items to your child’s day care or school. You know they’ll be able to help transform them into something cute for V Day!
How do you help your little ones celebrate Valentine’s Day?
RealMom is married to RealDad, a super-buff and handsome red-headed fella, and they have two super-cute and reasonable children, RealGirl (3.5) and RealBoy (1). They were all born and bred in – you guessed it – New Jersey.