Eco-friendly Valentine’s Day Cards for Kids

Did you know that one of the most wasteful days of the year is the day after Valentine’s Day? While it’s fun to remind our friends and family how much we care about them, making eco-friendly Valentine’s Day cards shows them how much you care about them AND our planet! 

Each year, my three daughters each bring home a sackful of Valentine’s Day cards and goodies.  They have fun looking through them and seeing what their friends gave them, but guess where those cute Valentine’s cards, plastic toys, stickers, and tattoos end up? Yep, you guessed it… the trash. 

Well actually, they first sit in drawers or shelves for a couple of months because no one wants to part with them, but eventually, they end up in the trash. Just imagine how many Valentine’s Day cards are purchased and later tossed away! 

It makes me wonder, are Valentine’s Day cards even recyclable and do families take the time to recycle them? 

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CAN YOU RECYCLE VALENTINE’S DAY CARDS?

The short answer is maybe.  If the Valentine’s Day card is made of strictly paper, it can be recycled.  However, if it is made of mixed materials with plastic coating, foil, plastic or metal charms, then it is not recyclable.  If possible, remove plastic, metal or other non-paper materials before recycling.  

If you are unable to recycle Valentine’s Day cards, consider upcycling the cards into something new. A few simple ideas would be to make them into gift tags or repurposing them into new Valentine’s Day cards for next year. 

SUSTAINABLE AND ECO-FRIENDLY VALENTINE’S DAY CARDS

So this year, let’s make it an eco-friendly Valentine’s Day with less waste. Even busy moms and families can make simple changes to reduce their waste this holiday by trying some of these easy, fun and creative ideas to make your eco-friendly Valentine’s Day cards a hit! 

DIY CRAYON VALENTINE’S DAY CARDS

One of my favorite eco-friendly projects is to upcycle old, broken crayons into new crayons. My kids love helping and along the way they learn the importance of being eco-friendly. 

Developing their green mindset can be fun; plus they learn best through example. As you are working together on this project, make sure that they understand how their actions impact our environment. You can touch on facts such as:

  • How they are helping to keep crayons out of the landfill. This is important since there are currently over 12 million new crayons are made in the United States every single day.
  • Also, there are more than a half-million pounds of old, broken crayons are discarded every year. 

So this DIY Valentine’s Day Card will not only be adorable and unique, it will help reduce your household’s waste and lower the number of crayons that end up in the landfill.  Not to mention, it will cut down on the sludgy, waxy, toxic mess that the crayons become in landfills. 

Breath new life into your old crayons by making them into cute upcycled Valentine’s Day (non-edible) treats. These two ideas will get you started and your imagination running, but the options are limitless. 
You can make crayons of all shapes and sizes for many occasions, but this Valentine’s Day we made cute heart-shaped and Lego-shaped crayons. Check out the variety of molds on Amazon or at a local craft store, if you want to put your own spin on this eco-friendly Valentine’s Day card. 

Heart-Shaped Crayons

mini heart crayon valentines day card

Instructions:

Step 1 – First, collect unwanted and broken crayons around your house, from school, or friends. Sort your unwanted crayons by colors – groups of red, blue, yellow, green, purple, orange, black, brown and white. This will be helpful when you are designing your new crayons. My daughters were so eager to help with this step!

old broken crayons

Step 2 – Choose an oven-safe silicone crayon molds, which will be used to melt the crayons down into new shapes. Amazon has a variety to choose from. I used mini heart-shaped molds for these Valentine’s Day cards, but there are several options!

Step 3 – Next, remove the paper wrapper from the crayons.  You can use a craft knife to cut a slit along the length of the crayon (adults only please!). If your kids are helping with this step, you can soak the crayons in warm water to loosen the wrappers.  By the way, saving the wrappers for fire starters for your fireplace or campfire is another way to reuse the entire crayon and keep it out of the landfill. 

Step 4 – This is the fun part and my daughters’ favorite step in this project! Break the crayons into smaller pieces and place them into the silicone crayon molds.

mini heart crayons in silicone mold

Step 5 – Place a baking sheet under the crayon molds and bake them in the oven.  You can follow the specific directions that come with your mold, but it took us just 15 minutes at 250 degrees to melt our crayons.  Let them cool before removing them from the silicone molds. If you need them to cool off faster, place them in the refrigerator or freezer – wherever you might have the extra space! 

mini heart crayons in silicone mold

Step 6 – Download the printable Mini Heart Valentine’s Day cards and attach the new crayons to the card using a little glue or tape. Then, cut on the solid lines and enjoy your Valentine’s Day celebration!  

eco-friendly valentine's day cards

Lego-Shaped Crayons

The steps for this project are the same.  Just use the Lego-shaped mold of your choice and download the printable Lego-shaped Valentine’s Day cards.

eco-friendly valentine's day cards

Attach the new crayons to the card using double-sided tape. For a more eco-friendly alternative, tie the crayon onto the card using twine. This a great non-plastic option and in most cases, jute twine is eco-friendly and biodegradable.

eco-friendly valentine's day cards

DIY SEED PAPER VALENTINE’S DAY CARDS

DIY Seed Paper Valentine’s Day cards are one of the cutest ways to be unique and sustainable this Valentine’s Day. Plus, these little cards will plant the seeds (literally and figuratively) of adopting a green mindset.

eco-friendly valentine's day cards

What is Seed Paper?

Seed Paper is made from recycled paper that is embedded with plantable seeds.  The paper can be moistened, planted in the dirt, watered, and will grow into beautiful flowers, plants or vegetables – whatever seeds you choose!   

If you’d like to make your own DIY seed paper, check out this recycled Valentine seed paper card tutorial with step-by-step instructions.  It looks pretty simple, and I can’t wait to try it myself sometime very soon! 

However, if you are a busy mom like me, you may want to purchase premade, precut seed paper from Bloomin to keep this project a bit more manageable.  This option will be a little less eco-friendly than a DIY version, but I still find it valuable.

Remember that having a green mindset and trying to lower your waste is a journey.  You won’t be able to achieve it overnight. Give yourself grace and know that the lessons you are teaching your children about being sustainable and eco-friendly will have benefits for years to come.  

Additionally, I like purchasing these premade hearts and products through the Bloomin company because they are a Certified B-Corporation, which means they are a certified company that meets rigorous standards and are committed to solving social and environmental problems. When you purchase from B-Corps, you know your money is going to a greater good.  

Instructions:

Step 1: Make or purchase the seed paper hearts.

seed paper hearts

Step 2: Download the pre-made Valentine’s Day cards and attach the seed paper hearts to the card using a small amount of glue or tape. Then, cut them out on the solid lines. 

eco-friendly valentine's day cards

Step 3: Sign your name and enjoy passing them out to your friends and family!

eco-friendly valentine's day cards

MAKE YOUR OWN VALENTINES (WITH SUPPLIES ON HAND)

If your down to the wire and there is no time to tackle the projects above before Valentine’s Day, resist the urge to run to the store to buy new Valentine’s Day cards.  Instead, consider gathering up the arts and crafts supplies you have around the house, get creative, and make your own eco-friendly Valentine’s Day cards!

Part of the zero-waste and low-waste lifestyle includes trying not to purchase new items and rather using – or reusing – what you have already.

Adam Minter, the author of Secondhand, discusses the environmental impact of consumerism.  In a recent article on npr.org, Minter says, “The one thing we do know is that the biggest impact of most products is the manufacturing side. So if you want to reduce the environmental impact of your consumption, the best way to do that is to not manufacture more stuff. In that sense, the best thing you can do is not buy more stuff.”

So this Valentine’s Day, do your best to get creative and use what you have in your craft supplies, if at all possible.  I loved this cute idea to make a Heart Envelope Valentine’s Day card! It’s adorable and can be done with just paper, a pencil, and scissors, at a minimum.  

MAKE IT A FABULOUS AND ECO-FRIENDLY VALENTINE’S DAY!

So in the end, making eco-friendly Valentine’s Day cards can be simple and fun.  These creative ideas will help get you started, but enjoy the process and get creative with what you have around the house.  

You and your children will not only share their adoration for their friends in class but will be saving the planet a little as well!

Want to remember this? Pin it for later!

eco-friendly valentine's day cards for kids

Ready to take the next step on your journey to go green? Imagine how you would feel 12 months from now if you drastically reduced the waste your family made all year. These 12 Zero Waste New Year Resolutions will help you achieve those goals – even if you are a zero waste beginner. It’s never too late to start! Download the FREE checklist today and read all about the simple tips to get you started HERE.

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2 Comments

  1. January 18 / 1:54 PM

    Great ideas! I think my daughter’s friends would love the heart-shaped crayons and my son’s would like the legos. I also love the seed heart idea, and can think of other times of year this might be a handy gift.

    • Rebekah
      January 18 / 3:54 PM

      Thanks, Arlin! I’m so glad your children and their friends would like these Valentines! I know my daughters loved helping me make them and can’t wait to give them to their friends this year.

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