Post Valentine’s Day Clean Up
What kind of Valentine’s Day gifts did you receive? Did you give any to a loved one? Just like with any holiday or celebration, Valentine’s Day leaves many of us with more waste than we originally planned. Here are some ideas on how to recycle, reuse, and repurpose common Valentine’s Day items.
Dry your bouquet to preserve your memories. The easiest way to go about this is to air dry them which takes about three to four weeks depending on the types and amount of flowers. Of course, there are faster ways like using sand and a microwave. Simply search “preserving flowers at home” on the web and you’ll find plenty of do-it-yourself tips. Use the dried flowers as decoration or add them to your scrapbook, the options are endless!
Many boxes that come along with delicious Valentine’s Day sweets are recyclable. Some boxes have plastic wrap and even cardboard inside so be sure to check with your area what materials are recyclable and sort appropriately. If you are feeling creative, you can use the box to store other items or repurpose them as gift boxes for Mother’s Day!
Even with social media and text messaging, about 180 million cards are exchanged on Valentine’s Day. While cards are special and can be saved to read again later on, there are greener ways to dispose of them if you plan on doing so. For some ideas on how to repurpose your cards, read this post that includes ideas like gift tags and donations.
While not recyclable, balloons made with latex can sometimes be compostable. The string that balloons come with can be used to tie up loose charging cables or future gifts. An important message to remember is to NEVER let go of balloons. They can end up in electric wires or the ocean and cause safety problems.
The great thing about stuffed animals is that they last very long so you can remember how much your loved one cares about you. However, if you are planning on saying goodbye to a fluffy friend, consider donating them to a relative, local organization, or thrift store. You can also use the filling to create mini pillows or a stuffed animal.
Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022