7 School Valentine’s Gifts That Aren’t Super Bad for the Environment

I know, I know. “Stop being such a grinch, James” (or whatever the Valentine’s Day equivalent of a Grinch is). Valentine’s Day at school is just a bit of fun, right?

Well, aside from me having to buy 21 little Valentine’s Day cards I have to sit down and convince my daughter to finish writing so that she can hand them out, collect them, bring them all home and then go in the garbage only to be randomly found around the house throughout the Summer, I just don’t like them.

When I grew up in England, my parents wrote each other a Valentine’s Day card and signed it with a ‘?’. That was it. There was nothing at school, no compulsory gifting, and no pressure for kids to have exactly the right amount for everyone to avoid hurt feelings.

Here in Canada, they do things differently.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the glossy cardboard on the cards, nor the plastic on toys or packaging can be recycled? Those are ‘end of life’ products, meaning they’re going straight into the landfill. Boooo! Big Boooo!

So, as a solution, and with a couple of weeks away from February 14th (note to self, set a reminder to get flowers), here are 7 ways you could actually help the planet this Valentine’s Day. Or at least not contribute to the *gestures vaguely*.

  1. Give packets of wildflowers as card/gifts and have the kids sprinkle them on the way home.
  2. Homemade / hand-picked bunches of flowers
  3. A drawing or personalised painting (on recyclable paper)
  4. Painted rocks with hearts on
  5. Cards made from cereal box cutouts. (The inside is plain cardboard, so cut out heart shapes and get arty)
  6. Homemade baking (check for allergies and requirements for handing out homemade food first).
  7. Chocolate gifts that support Fair Trade and/or sustainable practices

I was totally going to make this a list of 30, but there are so few resources or other ideas unless you want to spend hours melting crayons into heart-shaped silicone moulds and tying them with string to a handmade card. Let’s be honest, we’re not doing any of that. Personally, I’m going to the store and buying a bunch of seeds. Job done. Then it’s onto Easter. Oh goodie.

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