Green is the new red this Valentine’s Day and this year we’re gifting experiences rather than things. But, if you can’t imagine Valentine’s Day without your favourite chocolate treat, there’s always the option to buy local.

We’re all familiar with the 3 Rs—reduce, reuse and recycle. We’re thinking bigger! Refuse, replace and reimagine. If you haven’t done so already, check out the 10,000 Changes initiative, where Canadians can choose to make a commitment to reduce their plastic waste. 

No matter how you decide to spend February 14th, we hope you’ll consider a few of the following tips to minimize your carbon footprint and to think green this Valentine’s Day. 

1. What’s for dinner? Eating locally, whether that means cooking dinner at home or dining out, it’s all about locally sourced food. Not only does this support local economies but it also takes fewer resources and minimizes overall carbon emissions by reducing the distance food has to travel. Next time you’re choosing something at a grocery store, look at where it came from and reflect on the time and distance it took for the product to arrive on the shelf. Complete the What’s For Lunch challenge with your class to see if you can create a recipe using only local ingredients!

2. Instead of buying something new as a gift this Valentine’s Day, consider gifting baked goods or handcrafted jewellery from repurposed materials (e.g., earrings made from old silverware). Parts of Canada are still pretty cold, so if your hobby includes knitting, a homemade scarf could be a really thoughtful gift! Get students thinking about creative ways to use recycled materials through the Post It challenge, where students create art using only materials that would have otherwise ended up in the garbage or recycling bin. This art could make a great gift! 

3. Not all wrapping paper is recyclable. Newspapers on the other hand are easily recyclable and look pretty crafty! Why not wrap whatever you’ve decided to gift in recycled materials or in a reusable fabric?

4. Material items come and go, but memories last a lifetime. Why not plan an outing as a gift this Valentine’s Day, like a nice, snowy hike or skating at a local rink? There are many things you can do this Valentine’s Day that don’t produce waste but will allow you to enjoy winter and your special day! 

5. Handing out Valentine’s Day cards has always been a favourite staple of the holiday. However, have you ever considered how much waste this generates on a global scale in just one day? Encourage students to make cards out of recycled materials found around your school or have them bring recycled items from home. Not only does it encourage creativity but the end results will also be very unique.

We hope you think green not only on holidays but every day! Every conscious decision you make to reduce, reuse and recycle, no matter how big or small, helps our planet.   

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Photo credit: mugenai, heart, https://flic.kr/p/exZKw6, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)