Tag Archives: Zero Waste Valentine’s Day

Valentine ideas for kids that help teach Zero Waste living skills

Kids love to make things and the love to give gifts or cards on Valentine’s Day.  Learning skills and being creative help children to be family partners in a Zero Waste lifestyle.

Here are ten Valentine’s projects for kids and caregivers.

#1 Conservation, recycling and growing are great conversations to have while recycling used paper to make seed hearts to give to class mates that they can plant. When the paper hearts are planted in a pot of soil or garden, the seeds grow and the paper composts away.

#2 Using materials like newspaper for another use and using scraps (that often are tossed in bin) to make a new creation helps to teach repurposing skills. Paint newspaper and paper scraps to make hand painted Valentine post cards.

#3 Encouraging care of wildlife and an opportunity to learn about back yard birds helps kids to become better stewards of earth. Learning to measure ingredients also is a helpful skill to learn. Make bird seed hearts that can be hung on trees to feed birds.

#4 Looking for materials to repurpose, tracing and cutting while creating a garden gift that invites children to connect to the natural world through growing food. Children that grow their own food are more likely to eat fruit and vegetables. Make seed packages from magazines and fill with flowers or veggie seeds.

#5 Instead of discarding worn materials this project is about reusing materials, reusing and repurposing reduces waste. Repurpose those crayons stubs to make heart shaped crayons.

#6 Learning to cook including reading a recipe, measuring, learning how to use a stove safely are all skills that help children for the future but also allows them to contribute and be part of household activities. Bake cookies to give instead of cards.

#7 Making simple treats teaches how to use stovetop or microwave and reduces need to buy treats in excessive packaging. Give rice crispie hearts with icing message.

#8 Learning basic sewing skills helps children to have clothing repair skills. Make Lacing Valentine’s cards with ribbon scraps.

#9 An important food waste reduction lesson is learning that if fruit is marked or different looking, they are still good to eat. Are you bananas about someone? Give a message on a banana.

#10 Using a needle and thread and fabric scraps to make things allows kids to create. Sew felt hearts.

Rethink Valentine’s Day – Make Love Not Waste

Make Love not Waste!   Valentine’s Day express your love and admiration with less stuff and more caring gestures and thoughtful words. Reduce the amount of stuff you buy and gift.

Sometimes when we give gifts we inadvertently give packaging and and other materials that creates garbage for the recipient. Garbage is not the gift of love.

What do we really, really want?

We want to know that someone cares about us. We want to be with special loved ones. We want to express our love or admiration to another.

What do we really, really want?

We want to know that someone cares about us. We want to be with special loved ones. We want to express our love or admiration to another.


Instead of Saying it with Stuff, Say it with words and thoughtful gestures.


Attention, shared experiences, caring and consideration are special gifts to give. It is the expression of our love that makes us happy.

“They invented hugs to let people know you love them without saying anything.” Bill Keane

Did you know?

Ready- made Valentine’s Day cards came into vogue in the 19oo’s, because cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings were discouraged.

Today, over 1 billion cards are purchased for this single day.

Did you know?

85% of Valentine’s Day cards are purchased by women

200 million flowers are sold and delivered

73% of flowers are purchased by men

36 million heart shaped boxes of chocolate are sold

10 Tips to Reduce Valentine's Day Waste

  • Give your special message verbally or send an e-card
  • Instead of buying valentines to give out in the classroom, repurpose children’s art work into unique valentines hearts with a special ‘ what I like about you” message for each student
  • Wrap treats in repurposed vintage hankies, bits of scrap material or second-hand containers
  • Spent time not money. Togetherness does not have to cost. Do something with your loved one, that you know your special person enjoys.
  • If you are decorating a special event use materials that can be recycled or used again.
  • If you are cooking a special meal, plan your meal to reduce waste. Start by taking an inventory of what foods you have in stock  and next plan your  menu, write a shopping list and plan to use left-overs.
  • Avoid single-use products. Ask yourself how can I use this again? Use cloth napkins, reusable dishes and glasses and reusable gifts bags.
  • Share ingredients. Share with a friend or neighbours products you may only use a portion of.
  • Just ask. Ask the florist if you can buy flowers without cellophane. Ask for a doggy bag if you do not finish a restaurant meal.
  • Be mindful. Be conscious of the choices you make as a consumer. Have an action plan to reduce,reuse, recycle and compost. Learn what you can recycle in your community.


Make your own preservation to keep flowers fresh longer. Dissolve 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons vinegar per quart of warm water. When you fill the vase, make sure cut stems are covered are by 3 to 4 inches of prepared water. The sugar nourishes the plants, whilw the vinegar inhibits bacterial growth.


Make it Yourself

Nutty Banana Chocolate Fudge (uses up ripe banana)

Miniature Tea Cup Garden  (Repurpose Tea Cups)