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Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024
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Creating a sustainable Valentine’s Day

Celebrating Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive or wasteful

Valentine’s Day is known for honoring love, connection and generosity. However, the holiday also has a tendency to center around materialism, which can make it difficult to celebrate sustainably. There’s a balance between showing affection to those you care about and showing compassion for the planet.

Before going on an Amazon shopping spree or tossing out your non-biodegradable chocolate boxes, consider these alternatives for a more sustainable Valentine’s Day. 

Make your gifts non-material

It’s easy to feel like you have to purchase a physical gift for your significant other or friends, but there are non-material gifts that can be just as special to your loved ones. Personalized experiences are a great alternative, especially if your partner’s love language is quality time. Consider venturing to an outdoor park (such as the National Arboretum) for a romantic stroll, or catching up with friends with a safe outdoor activity. If it is warm in your area, try supporting a local restaurant by ordering take out and having a picnic. 

Craft a gift

Another great way to minimize waste is by creating a gift. Constructing a scrapbook or writing a personalized letter is a great way to show your appreciation and also a good way to support your local craft store. These gifts tend to be more economically friendly, as they often cost more time than money. These projects are also less wasteful than factory-produced gifts, as you will only purchase what you need. Plus, you may already own the supplies you need for a lovely present.

If you are buying a gift, consider shopping sustainably

If your partner enjoys receiving gifts, do not fret. There are lots of ways to make your shopping more sustainable, like buying secondhand (such as from eBay or Poshmark), or from a small business (check out SkyPrintArt on Etsy).You can also buy from a sustainable company (such as Ocean Plastics), or you can support local stores. 

Recycle what you can

If you plan to purchase candies or gifts from a chain store, consider buying those that come in recyclable packaging. Additionally, think about composting any flowers that you may have been gifted. If you are gifted anything that you feel you will not use, consider dropping it off at a donation center.


If you are exceptionally crafty, this suggestion may be the one for you. If you wind up with any non-recyclable materials, or you’d rather preserve those aforementioned flowers, you can fashion them into a collage to preserve memories. Not only will you help reduce the waste produced from your festivities, but you will create something meaningful to remember the day. 

You don’t have to complete everything on this list to have an eco-friendly Valentine’s Day. Small choices toward sustainability may add up and make a big difference. Have a safe and sustainable Valentine’s Day!

 Hosts Sara Winick and Sydney Hsu introduce themselves and talk about their favorite TV shows. This episode includes fun facts, recommendations and personal connections. 

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