Valentine’s Day can be a day to celebrate love, celebrate your awesome singleness, or just indulge in a lot of chocolate. However you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Days, there is a lot of potential plastic waste. From the plastic-wrapped flowers, to the candy box made of multiple layers of unrecyclable material, to the cuddly teddy bear that’s probably made of polyester (i.e. plastic), Valentine’s day can be a plastic trap. To avoid all this plastic on Valentine’s Day, follow these 5 tips:

  1. Buy flower arrangements or at the farmer’s market
  2. Bring your own container for chocolate
  3. Skip the teddy bears or choose organic cotton
  4. Make cards for school
  5. Remember time is the best Valentine

1. Buy flower arrangements or at the farmer’s market

If you’re buying flowers for your special someone choosing an arrangement with a glass vase is one way to avoid plastic. Double points if the vase is a mason jar…that way it can be reused to store food! Another option for plastic-free flowers is to grab some at the farmer’s market. Oftentimes you can get them wrapped in newspaper or simply naked.

2. Bring your own container for chocolate

Looking for some chocolate covered strawberries or other goodies? Instead of getting them packaged in one of those heart shaped boxes, try bringing your own container to Ghirardelli, Godiva or your favorite chocolatier. Ask them to put the delicious goodies directly in your container. That’s one less non-recyclable heart-shaped box that will end up in the dump next week.

3. Skip the teddy bears or choose organic cotton

Let’s be honest, if you live with your Valentine, do you really want another teddy bear cluttering up the house? Chances are the answer is no. Teddy bears are usually made of polyester (aka plastic) and end up gathering dusk on a shelf or in a closet. That huge Costco-sized teddy bear looks cute today but will be pretty annoying a few months from now.

If all your Valentine wants is a teddy bear, then by all means, but make sure you choose an organic cotton teddy bear like this one from Bears for Humanity so it doesn’t shed plastic microfibers in your house.

4. Make Valentines for school

Do you have school-aged kids that want to send Valentine’s day cards to school? Consider making cards with your child. It will be a fun project and quality time with your kiddo. Or instead of a card choose some other craft. Last year my daughter and I made tissue paper flowers for her friends.

5. Remember time is the best Valentine

Finally, I’m going to get all cheesy after-school special and say that quality time is the best thing you can give your Valentine. Celebrate love by creating new memories with your Valentine. Whether it be on a hike, exploring the town, or a stroll on the beach (please pick up trash if you see it), spending time with your loved one is the best plastic-free gift you could give. Hope you have a happy (and plastic-free) Valentine’s Day!