February 13, 2017

Zero Waste Valentine's Day Cards (maddeningly x2)

I feel I've been slacking a bit in my Zero Wasteness lately, but Valentine's Day always finds me back on the battlefield, armor strapped, cynicism fully-charged.

Last year, I was taken by surprise, but this year I was ready:  my first grader got working on her junk mail/school flyer/kid artwork valentines at LEAST a day early.

Sorry Boy Scouts!  We don't need your mulch - well, actually we do, but the eco-guilt is too high.

And there I was, feeling smug.  I had helped my daugher accomplish a home-made, zero-waste school project EARLY and really, with minimal effort.

     Then I got the Sunday-afternoon email.

     From the preschool teacher.

    The one that teaches my other kid.

"The kids will be decorating their valentine bags for our party on Tuesday.  You may send your child with a valentine for each class friend."  What kind of passive-aggressive guilt/shame bs is this?!

So here's a picture of us in the garage a few minutes later, sifting through the recycle bin, digging out leftover pages of aforementioned junk mail/school flyer/kid artwork:

Yes, there was totally broken glass in there.
And I told them to be careful, because parenting 'duh'.

And we started the process over.  These valentines would be a little less fancy as they were crafted by my four-year-old and delivered to her (four-year-old) peers.

Again, I ask what I asked last year:  Doesn't this look like a preschool-worthy project?

This feels like one of those holidays that if you outsourced the entire operation (schools don't celebrate it, valentines are only exchanged among children via mail or foot) or did not rely on parent participation, would simply disappear over the years.  This would yield two benefits:  one less kid project for me to supervise each year (or two, in this case) and far less environmental consumption and waste.  

But at least the girls got some crafting and lettering practice.  They seemed pretty happy with their work - and THAT, these days, is something to nurture, non?


  1. Great idea! My preschooler has to do Valentine's Day for the first time this year, and I didn't want to buy the silly wasteful ones at the store. Love the idea of using papers you were going to recycle anyways! Thanks!

    1. Thanks! It looks like you have a few more years of this ahead of you. But so far, my eight-year-old still likes making them.