Despite the warmth and general passion and love that is attributed to Valentines Day, are there times that you feel tired of seeing the mass commercialism and consumerism that one certain holiday each February grants us? This Valentine’s Day, why not have a ‘green party’!
Let’s face it, Valentine’s Day can be quite a wasteful holiday, what with all the mass-produced paper cards, less than healthy chocolates, cut flowers, and all kinds of trinkets that seem to be screaming ‘Buy me!’. Should you feel so inclined, there are things that you can do to counteract the mass-produced ‘stuff’, starting with your green Valentine’s Day.
Here are some ideas:
- Instead of cut flowers, you can make yourself some paper roses and other flowers, using scrap paper. Used tissue paper, colourful magazine pages and catalogue pictures (why not use flower pictures to make your flowers?), and other scrap paper can be made into flowers. You can give these homemade flowers as favors and/or use them as centre pieces and decorations.
- If you do want fresh flowers at your party, then consider getting cut flowers from a local florist. Or simply use live flowers already potted. These would also make great favors, in addition to serving as decorations.
- Consider sending electronic Valentine cards and invitations for your party, or make your own from recycled paper.
- Chocolate is traditional Valentine’s fare, but instead of buying mass-produced ‘chocolate flavored’ candies at the store, consider ‘greener’ chocolates. Make your own chocolate fudge using fair trade cocoa and sugar, for instance, or buy organic chocolates. Another option is to find a local chocolatier and buy from them.
- Make your party glow with natural, red soy candles. Your guests will love this added touch of ambiance.
- If you crave confetti or glitter for the tables, use a hole-punch (you can get heart-shaped ones, too) to cut out colorful scrap paper into decorative shapes. Used wrapping paper, old Christmas cards, and magazines are also good choices for a burst of color.
- Serve organic, locally-grown foods and hand-make as much of the food as possible. You can make many dishes ahead of time and freeze them to make it easier on you. The point is to avoid pre-packaged, mass-produced foods and this way, you are helping to support local industry.
- Use washable tableware on a washable tablecloth.
- Rather than serving beverages in individual cans and bottles, serve from a punch bowl or other large container and use washable cups.
- Cloth napkins are another ‘green’ touch for your party. You can easily make your own or buy them for very little.
- Encourage your guests to carpool to your party to save fuel, or of course, if you are in a warmer climate, ask them to cycle over.
- Have labelled recycling bins handy for any recyclable items. Guests should be able to easily tell what the bins are for and be able to get to them without difficulty.
These are but a few ideas to help you get started. There are many more things you can do to celebrate Valentine’s Day while been kind to Mother Earth. As the old adage goes, ‘the sky’s the limit…’ Find your creative eco-spark this Valentines Day, and run with it!