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Friday, May 24, 2024
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Spend a sustainable Galentine’s Day with these gifts and activities

DIY presents, recycled gifts and tasty treats could be the way to a Wonk’s heart

This Galentine’s Day, give the gift of sustainability to your gals and pals. Whether it be a recycled paper turned valentine or a night with food trucks, Galentine’s Day is a time to celebrate the loves in your life.

DIY bouquets

Stop by your local grocery store and pick up some bundles of flowers. By buying two to three different bundles, the combinations of bouquets are endless. 

First, remove the flowers from their original packaging. Next, lay out the packaging. If you’re looking for a more organic feel, grab an old brown paper bag and remove the bottom. This creates a sheet of brown paper for a crisp “fresh from the local florist” look. 

Assemble the flowers to your desired size; the bigger the bundle, the fewer bundles there will be. It’s up to you on how many friends you desire to spoil today. 

jar galentines
Variety of Trader Joe’s chocolates arranged in a former tomato sauce jar.

After the flowers are assembled, slip them into the plastic packaging. Or, if using paper, wrap the brown paper around so the stems show on the bottom. Then secure it with tape or an old ribbon of your choice. 

Candy jar

The forgotten pasta sauce or jam jar in your kitchen has a new purpose: sweet treats. 

Grab some classic chocolates or candies and fill them to the brim. The colors bring some fresh life to your recycled product. 

If there are leftover flowers from the bouquets, they can come in handy as a garnish on the jars. Bows or ribbons also add a sweet, personalized touch. 

Afternoon tea

Take your gals and pals out for an afternoon tea on the town. D.C. lends itself to many afternoon tea sites across the area. Usually, these establishments fill up with Valentine’s Day reservations, so it’s best to wait a few days after the holiday to celebrate. 

If you’re interested in staying in, stop by your local thrift and pick up an old jewelry box. You can transform this into a sugar, honey or condiment box by filling the compartments. It doubles as a subtle centerpiece and works for all social gatherings.

If you’re looking to invest more in building your own tea party, thrift shops and consignment stores are great places to find matching mugs and teapots. Another option is having your guests bring their own mug. 

Charcuterie fest

Head off to your local grocery store cheese aisle with your friends. Have the group pick out a cheese of their choice. Try a brie or a garlic and herb flavored cheese, or match goat cheese with honey, jam or preserves on top. The combination of tart cheese with crisp, sugary goodness makes a good addition to a cheese board. 

Add in-season fruits like oranges or grapefruits, that way you’re avoiding preservatives and praising quality tastes. By eating in-season products, you’re also supporting local farming. Walnuts and pistachios also pair well with these sweet fruits. Don’t forget a box of crackers or two.

Back in the comfort of your home or dorm, turn on an instructional video on Youtube. By playing such videos in the background, it allows inspiration to flow through your foodie valentines. 

valentines hearts galentines
Old paper scraps are the next generation of personalized valentines.

Sustainable valentines

What’s a better way to celebrate your friends than by celebrating your friends? Get the band together and make your own valentines. Use scraps of paper around your place to create sustainable valentines. 

Those old edited papers, resumes and everything in between make great accent designs. 

Street food and a stroll around the National Mall

You can find a variety of food trucks on the streets while you take a stroll around the monuments. Instead of taking an individualized car service downtown, opt-in for public transportation to get to the sites. 

The streets that encircle the monuments, or the area around The Ellipse, also feature a wide range of mom-and-pop options like Astro Doughnuts or Papa Adam Hot Spot

For more information on where to find food trucks, try Street Food Finder. The website shows the locations, menus and hours for various food trucks in the area. 

It’s best to remember that while these celebratory festivities are fun, Galentine’s Day celebrates the gift of friendship — the best present of all.

pmcgee@theeagleonline.com


Section 202 host Gabrielle and friends go over some sports that aren’t in the sports media spotlight often, and review some sports based on their difficulty to play. 



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