This Valentine’s Day, why not have a green party? Valentine’s Day can be such a wasteful holiday, with all the mass-produced paper cards, cheap teddy bears, unhealthy chocolates, cut flowers, and all kinds of trinkets. Counteract the mass-produced junk with your green Valentine’s Day. Here are some ideas.
1. Instead of cut flowers, make paper roses and flowers
. Use scrap paper. Used tissue paper, colorful magazine and catalogue pictures (why not flower pictures?), and other scrap paper can be made into flowers. You can give these homemade flowers as favors and use them as centerpieces and decorations.
2. If you do want fresh flowers at your party, consider getting cut flowers from a local florist. Or use live flowers in pots. These also would make good favors in addition to decorations.
3. Send electronic Valentine cards and invitations to your party, or make your own from recycled paper.
4. Chocolate is traditional Valentine’s fare, but instead of getting mass-produced “chocolate flavored” candies at the store, think of “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 chocolate maker and buy from them.
5. Make your party glow with natural, red soy candles.
6. If you must have confetti or glitters 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 good choices.
7. Serve organic, locally-grown foods and hand-make as much of the food as possible. You can make many dishes ahead and freeze them to make it easier. The point is avoiding pre-packaged, mass-produced foods.
8. Use washable tableware on a washable tablecloth.
9. Rather than serving beverages in individual cans and bottles, serve from a punch bowl or other large container. Use washable cups.
10. Cloth napkins are another green touch for your party. You can easily make your own or buy them for very little.
11. Encourage your guests to carpool to your party to save fuel.
12. Have recycling bins handy for recyclable items. Guests should be able to easily tell what the bins are for and be able to get to them without difficulty.