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Celebrate Valentine's Day the eco-friendly way

Farah Dhalla, reporter
February 12, 2013 — Many people will be purchasing gifts for their loved ones on Valentine’s Day, but some of these keepsakes will turn into waste that piles up in garbage dumps.

It's easy to have an eco-friendly Valentine's Day
It's easy to have an eco-friendly Valentine's Day

Cards, flowers, plastic hearts and gift wrap -- these are just a few things that can end up in the trash after Valentine's Day. 

Kristin Arnot, an environmental program specialist at Edmonton Waste Management Branch, says the city definitely sees a spike in waste this time of year.

According to Statistics Canada, one million bouquets of a dozen roses each were produced in 2010 -- that’s 12 million individually stemmed roses, which more than likely ended up as waste.

“Valentine's Day has this misconception that you need to buy new things in order to show people that you really care about them," Arnot says.

Flowers likely end up as waste after Valentine's Day
Flowers likely end up as waste after Valentine's Day

"What we want to stress ... is that isn’t necessarily the case."

In Edmonton, the Reuse Centre offers up ways to reduce trash on Valentines Day. 

According to Arnot, cards are a big contributor to waste, and they can be recycled easily.

"If [the card] had writing on it you can just cover that up with a little piece of paper and write whatever you want to say," she says.

You can also reuse gift bags, tissue and wrapping paper.

Sending an E-card or making dinner at home are other environmentally-friendly gift alternatives. 

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