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According to the UN Environment Program, every year, an estimated 11.2 billion tons of solid waste are collected worldwide. The amount of waste doubles during holidays, long weekends and special occasions, such as Valentine’s day.  So why not try these gift ideas for a zero-waste valentine?

Potted plants. Instead of giving flowers, consider giving plants. A potted plant lasts longer than a bouquet of flowers. Living plants help the environment since they release oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide, serves as habitat and food for wildlife, and help regulate the water cycle.

DIY gifts.  Making gifts may consume a lot of time, but this allows you to get creative, resulting in more personalized items. Consider the hobbies and preferences of the receiver. Whether it’s a crocheted decor, a painted portrait, a hand-written letter, or home-baked cookies, your giftees will appreciate the effort you’ve poured into your gifts.

The gift of experience. To avoid unnecessary waste that usually starts with unnecessary shopping, hop on to the “gift of experience” trend. Go and take your date to a movie, play or an amusement park. Or better yet, shower your special someone with acts of services, such as cooking meals, cleaning the house, or giving a massage. After all, experiences tend to be remembered more than material things. 

Go for locally-grown items. Support local crafters and workers by purchasing items sourced and made locally. This helps in cutting down fuel consumption and air pollution created by items delivered through overseas planes and long-truck trips. Also, skip the plastic wrap! 

Remember, it is not necessary to spend huge amounts of money to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Show the environment some love, too!