Make Love Not Waste! If there’s anything the world needs its less stuff and more love. 

Why waste it? Valentine’s Day is just another day that corporations can capitalize on our wasteful and consumerist behaviour. This Valentine’s Day express your love and admiration with less stuff and more caring gestures and thoughtful words.


♥ Avoid buying gifts that are likely to end up in landfill. eg the big stuffed teddy, light up plastic roses and heart shaped balloons. Sometimes when we give gifts we inadvertently give packaging and other materials that creates waste. Waste is not the gift of love.

♥ Avoid purchasing printed cards and send an e-card instead.

♥ Avoid food waste: If you are cooking a special meal, plan your meal to reduce waste. Start by making a list of food you have, then write a shopping list of things you need and plan to use left-overs. Use the FoodWise website for great recipe ideas!

♥ Avoid cellophane by asking your florist to package them in paper instead.

♥ Avoid imported flowers. Order flowers that are in season and locally available. Talk to your local florist and order flowers that will support Australian farms.


Reduce the amount of stuff you buy and gift and create less waste. 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

Here are some great alternative experience gifts that you can enjoy together:

♥ Recreate your first date.

♥ Get a couple’s massage or pampering session.

♥ Go out for dinner and movie. BYO container to take home any left overs.

♥ Picnic at the beach or park. Remember to use your own containers, reusable plates and utensils. Purchase package free food such as fresh produce, baked goods, meat/cheese from the butcher counters, and bulk items.

♥ Prepare a romantic dinner at home using waste free options (as above). Light the room with candles and save energy too!

♥ Take a painting or dancing class together.

♥ Go for a walk or drive in the great outdoors.

♥ Go out to watch a band, play or sporting event.

♥ Have a hot bath together with some handmade bath bombs.

♥ Go snorkelling or even scuba diving together.

♥ Take a yoga or meditation class together.

Hand made gifts always mean more as they are made from the heart. When we make the time to create something for someone out of love, we consciously become connected and are in the moment. We’re loving and living in that moment. Here are some ideas:

♥ Bath bombs using rose petals

♥ Perfume or cologne using natural essential oils

♥ Send an ecard or video of photos of you together

♥ Baked goodies: Whether it’s cookies, brownies, cakes, or pies, you can’t go wrong. Here are some ideas:

  • homemade doughnuts coupled with a homemade recycled card saying “I doughnut know what I would do without you”
  • chocolate puddings with heart shaped sprinkles
  • chocolate covered strawberries

♥ Make your own sweets using chocolates, lollies or nuts from the bulk food section at the supermarket and fill small mason jars. Couple with a small handmade card, using recycled paper of course. You may like to use one of the suggested corny statements below:

  • Gummy Bears: “Life without you would be un-BEAR-able”
  • Raisins: “You’re always raisin my spirits”
  • Nuts: “I’m nuts about you!”

♥ Make your own candles with a handmade recycled card saying “you light up my life” You could also make candles in reused tins.

♥ Coupon Book made with recycled paper offering an experience together or service that you can offer.

If you haven’t got a special someone in your life, there is no reason to not feel the love on Valentines day. Here are some ideas:

♥ Go through your contacts and pick three people you have not spoken to in a while. Send them a message, email or call them to say hello.

♥ Write a love letter to yourself listing your achievements in your life so far.


♥ If you are preparing a picnic or romantic dinner use reusable containers, plates, cups and cutlery.

 ♥ Choose flowers that last – Rather than giving cut flowers that last only a few days, opt for giving a potted plant or flowers that can be planted outside in the Spring (like tulips or hydrangeas). Another fun idea is to plant a new tree together and watch it grow over the years.

♥ Hand down an heirloom or special item – There may be something special in your home that may be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Consider giving it to a loved one.


♥ Get creative and make your own card and wrapping using photos, recycled card and paper. Remember to recycle your cards and wrapping too.

♥ If you received a box of chocolates, recycle your box and moulded plastic tray by placing them separately in the recycle bin.  Note: Plastic and foil composite wrappers cannot be recycled and need to be placed in the waste bin.


Valentine’s Day sees overall sales of fresh flowers quadruple so this is inevitably going to create a lot of organic waste that could be put to good use in home compost bins, worm farms or in the green lidded bin for composting. Make sure the wrapping, rubber bands, string and ribbons are removed first.

♥ If you get flowers for Valentine’s Day, preserve first then compost! Make your own preservation to keep flowers fresh longer. Dissolve 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons vinegar in 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, while the vinegar inhibits bacterial growth.

♥ Once the flowers are drooping or dead, don’t bin the blooms – compost them instead!

♥ If you burnt the cookies or cake that you tried to bake or it just didn’t turn out, don’t throw it out – compost it, your green bin will love it!

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