6 Tips for a Low Impact Valentine’s Day

Over the commercialism and the wastefulness of Valentine’s Day? Or maybe you just want to treat YOURSELF to some nice squishy gestures. Either way, that’s totally cool. We have some tips to make your (or maybe someone you love’s) Valentine’s Day thoughtful and waste free!

1.) Make someone special a personalized box of chocolates

 

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YAAAAAS, queen!

Using just a few ingredients you can easily find in the bulk aisle and another you can make yourself or get in a recyclable tin can, truffles are an easy (an inexpensive) way to say “I love you” with something delicious.

Did you know eating chocolate releases Phenylethylamine (often called the “love drug”) as well as serotonin and dopomine in our brain? No wonder we love it so much!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of semisweet or dark chocolate chips (bulk)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk

Optional Toppings

Crushed almonds, macadamia nuts, pistachios, etc…, shredded coconut, crushed chocolate chips, cocoa powder, hot cocoa mix, crushed candy, crushed pretzels, cinnamon, cocoa powder, sesame seeds.

Directions:

1.) Start with a double boiler. If you don’t know what that is, you can easily make one using a glass bowl and a cooking pot filled with about an inch of water.

Here are some tips on melting chocolate with a double boiler:

2.) In a separate pot, heat up the coconut milk on medium heat, just until it begins to simmer (Do not allow it to boil!). Quickly pour the heated coconut milk into the melted chocolate and let it sit for one minute, uncovered.

3.) When a minute is up, mix the coconut milk and the chocolate until well blended and creamy.

4.) Remove from heat and allow to sit at room temperature for a few minutes to allow the pot to cool enough to safely be placed in the refrigerator for thirty minutes to an hour, or until the chocolate is formed.

5.) Once solid, roll the chocolate into balls and dip into the topping of your choice. Some people dip their hands in cocoa powder to prevent the balls from sticking to their palms, but I think this makes it harder for the toppings to stick to them, but it’s up to you!

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3.) Treat yo’self (or someone else)  to a home spa and massage

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You know what you like to bring it down a notch, be it a bath, meditation, candles… so why not go the extra mile and go all out this Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t have to be for someone else, necessarily. Treat yo’self!

Tips:

1.) Got a foot bath? Bust it out! Got a bucket? Clean it out and make it into a foot bath. Add hot (tolerably hot) water, a dash of tea tree oil, a handful of Epsom salt, or whatever other fragrances you like. I’ve ever tossed in some sprigs of lavender, lemon balm, and even peppermint depending on my mood or what’s growing in the garden.

2.) Body massage! Store brand lotions and oils are chock full of chemicals and things I can’t pronounce. I’ve also learned that abbreviations are usually some pretty nasty things, from BHT to PEG to, you guessed it, BPA. You don’t need that garbage to have nice, smooth skin! Just grab a glass jar of coconut oil and go nuts. Actually, a little goes a long way with coconut oil, but you get the idea.

I live by the motto that I can’t eat it, I don’t want it on my skin. So far this has worked out well. I have used everything from olive oil to shea butter when I can find it packaged without plastic (yep, shea butter is edible!)

3.) If you’re lucky enough to have a bath tub, make it count! Clean that bad boy out with some diluted vinegar infused with citrus peels so you know you’re gonna come out squeaky clean without toxic cleaning chemical residual in your bath water. You can use a bath towel or a compostable loofah for the tub, and I save old bamboo toothbrushes to clean the smaller corners and edges of the bath..

Fill water hot water, add a dash of epsom salt if you can find it packaged in cardboard or bulk, and again, any fragrances or fragrant herbs you like. Some bulk stores and co-ops sell bath salts in bulk. I was so happy to find some at Grassroots Natural Grocery Store in Tahoe last week. But I only have a shower in my house. So, dang.

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4.) Cook your own dinner, have a picnic, and if you’re going to a restaurant, bring your own takeaway containers!

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Although we could list a longggg series of recipes, you hopefully know your significant other’s favorite dish, or the loved ones you might be sharing this day with.

Pack your food into some mason jars or reusable containers, and head out for a picnic if the weather permits! Okay, I know it’s been cold lately, but it’s still warm in… San Diego!

Lastly, if you are going out to eat, make sure you bring your own takeaway containers for any possible leftovers. Even compostable materials are wasted when they’re single use, so avoid using them if possible.

5.) Design your own cards

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Whether it’s for your lover or your loved ones, over 1 million Valentine’s Day cards are purchased each year. Most of these cards are made out of new paper, and most of them will end up in landfill. An easy solution is to make your own cards using post consumer recycled materials, or better, reused materials from your home.

Here is some inspiration for hand made Valentine’s Day cards:

DIY Zero Waste Glue

 

6.) Skip the cut flowers, buy a plant!

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If someone in your life simply loves to receive flowers, considering buying them a plant instead.

Cut flowers live a short and sad life, wrapped in plastic, and dunked in tap water mixed with a little baggy full of chemicals. Waste, waste, waste. A more sustainable option is to find a plant, even a flowering one, that is ideally growing in a non-plastic pot.

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I hope you found these tips helpful, and if you have other ideas, please share in the comments below 🙂

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