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10 Ways to Go Green for Valentine’s Day This Year

Try these tips for Valentines that are creative and kind to the environment.

Valentine’s Day can be lovely for sweethearts—but with tons of candy to consume and generic, store-bought cards that will be tossed rather than treasured, it can be a holiday to dread for parents. 

Here are 10 tips to make your child’s 2013 Valentine’s Day celebrations more memorable—and kinder to the environment.

1)    Consider ditching the candy and handing out something small, special and fun. This year, my son will be giving his classmates Ninja pencils and Fuzzy Wuzzy pencils, available from Amazon.com, instead of cheap candy. Other options include stickers, pens or fun erasers from Staples or Hobby Lobby.

2)    Make chunky, recycled crayon hearts to give to classmates. Follow directions here, or you can buy them at Lil' Artist Crayon Box.

3)    Make “You Rule” ruler cards. Directions here.

4)    More great “no-candy Valentines” ideas can be found on Plucky Momo’s blog.

5)    Make cards. Skip buying boring cards from a big box store and help your child make this year’s Valentine's Day cards instead. Handmade cards are much more likely to be treasured in the years ahead. Extra points for crafting cards from junk mail, magazine images and recycled cereal boxes. A great resource for making cards from recycled materials is Creative Correspondence by Judy and Michael Jacobs, available from Amazon.com.  Get markers and other art supplies for making cards at Hobby Lobby. 

6)    In a hurry? Have your child draw some imaginary animals and copy the images for him or her to color and glue to a DIY Valentine's Day card.  Need inspiration? Check out Carla Sonheim’s fabulous book Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals, available from Amazon.com. Or have your child trace one hand, copy it onto color cardstock, cut it out and attach a small gift like a heart eraser as a “ring” on one of the fingers.

7)    Personalize your cards by making color copies of photos of your child with his or her buddies at Mail Pouch and More or We've Got Mail. Or color copy the class photo and circle each child and write “to", circle your child and write “from”, hole punch at the top, then attach with a ribbon to a small gift.

8)    DIY Valentine’s Day boxes from recycled shoeboxes rule—but your child can also make his or her box out of a coffee can from a nearby Trader Joe's.  Here are directions for making an adorable robot Valentine’s Day box out of cardboard boxes.

9)    Reuse holiday, birthday and previous Valentine’s Day cards. Rather than just recycling your old cards that you don’t want to save, make a stash over the year and then give it to your child to cut out the images he or she likes to reuse or to collage over to make this year’s Valentine’s Day cards.

10)  If you must include a sweet treat, consider organic, fair trade chocolate from Seattle’s Theo Chocolate, or chocolate hearts from Equal Exchange Chocolates

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