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valentine's day waste recycling

For the love of Earth: Recycling Valentine’s Day waste

October 4, 2019

The season of love will soon be upon us. If you’re lucky enough to have a special someone, chances are you’ll be scoring a card. Maybe a lil bouquet. If that special someone’s feeling especially decadent, they might sort you out with some chocolate fondue. You know, the works. For me, it means a night in with my boy Winston the tabby cat and a tub of Haagen Dazs bourbon praline pecan ice cream. In other words, a typical Thursday night.

All the romancing that comes with the year’s most love-filled holiday makes for a bucketful of waste. In fact, Valentine’s is one of the most wasteful days of the year. So, let’s change that. Doesn’t matter if you’ve got a Valentine or if you’re flying solo, everyone can show the planet some love on Valentine’s Day.


Unless they’re 100% paper or you can remove all the non-recyclable stuff from them (plastic, foil, sparkles, etc.), cards go in the garbage. I know, it’s a real shame. I used to feel obligated to buy cards and the fancier the better—like those cards that sing to you. But, alas, no more. Now, I just make my own cards because I’m creative like that. You can, too. I believe in you.


Chocolate is a big part of Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, wrappers are also a big part of chocolate—some more than others (yeah, we’re looking at you, Ferraro Rocher). Some communities have special wrapper recycling programs. TerraCycle even has a Snack Wrappers Zero Waste Box that you can invest in if you’ve got a sweet tooth. Otherwise, wrappers go in the garbage.


For all those Romeos (and Juliets) going the rose route, remember: flowers are compostable. If you’re lucky enough to live in warmer climates, feel free to cut wilted blossoms up and throw them in your garden. I’m an amateur wreath and potpourri crafter, so I just dry those old blooms up and reuse them in artisanal arrangements that blows minds. Feel free to do the same. Tis worth it.

Whatever your plans are, make sure to show this planet of ours some love on Valentine’s Day by getting the Recycle Coach app (seriously, dooooo it). If your city is part of our network, we’ll show you how to think and live sustainably every day of the year. Otherwise, lotsa love from the Recycle Coach team.

Have ideas you want to pitch or want to write for Recycle Coach? Email us at

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