Green Valentines Day
Laurie recently asked our Facebook Fans for some great Valentine's Party ideas that are Earth-friendly! We loved your responses. We know Valentine's Day is over, but why not keep it going all week? After all, Love should be celebrated ALL year long!
Becca Dever Barstow
Our Valentines are earth-friendly in the sense that I recycled some cereal boxes. I cut out a bunch of heart shapes and let the kids go to town painting them red. Now that they've dried we'll add names to them.
Sarah Anne Rennie
How about starting an egg carton herb garden? By springtime the little sprouts will be ready to go outside in the sunshine and thrive! Magazine collage valentine cards?
We have turned brown paper bags inside out, cut them into heart shapes, painted red or pink, and stuffed them with newspaper for big, loveable gift.
Baking cookies always seems like the fun and right thing to do! To make it earth-friendly, I turn down my thermostat 2 degrees when running the oven. I also substitute half of my flour recipe with whole wheat flour and use canola or applesause when the recipe calls for oil. Keep just enough treats for you and your family, and then wrap (in parchment or clean wrapping paper scraps) the rest for neighbors and deliver them on foot with your kids!
Amy Jo Krueger
I found this on the Disney Family Fun website... if you have any left over bits of yarn, this is a great way to use them up! Sticky Hands, Warm Hearts.
- First, make the glue by combining ¼ cup of cornstarch and ½ cup of water in a saucepan and stirring until smooth.
- Heat the mixture over medium heat until it's thick and translucent. Allow it to cool to the touch.
- Cut yarn into foot-long pieces.
- Place a heart-shaped cookie cutter on the shiny side of a piece of parchment paper. Have your child push a piece of yarn into the glue to coat it. Pick up the piece and run it between a thumb and forefinger to remove the excess glue. Lay the yarn inside the cookie cutter.
- Repeat with the other pieces until the yarn fills the heart shape in a thin layer. With clean hands, press the yarn flat. Gently lift off the cookie cutter and allow the yarn to dry hard, at least a day.
- You can speed up the drying process by placing the hearts and parchment paper into an oven set to "warm" for an hour or two.
- You can store cornstarch glue in the refrigerator for up to a week. If the mixture gets too gel-like, stir in ¼ cup of hot water.
You could make heart shaped bird seed feeders. Melted suet or shortening, mix in bird seed, press into heart shaped cookie cutters. Insert a straw near the top to make a hole to thread ribbon through. Refrigerate. When hard push out of cutter, string ribbon and share the love with the birds and squirrels!
You should plant violets. Supposedly the original "Valentines" were the leaves of the violets which are heartshaped. St. Valentine was in prison and violets were growinig outside his prison cell. He would reach out and pick the leaves off the violets and etch messages of love to family and friends into the leaves and leave them outside the cell for them to find. Even if it's not true, it's a good story.
Susan Walker Doran
Because some kids have peanut allergies, no food is allowed in to school. So for valentines day last year, my daughter and I recycled her broken crayons, peeled the paper from them and placed inside heart-shaped tin. Then we baked on low, like 250-300, and took them out of the oven when fully melted. Let cool. Pop out and and walla - heart shaped crayons. We then placed inside a snack-sized zip-lock baggie with a handmade note.
Beth Alsip Crook
Paint wooden clothes pins different colors. Fill small snack zip lock bags with Kix cereal, raisins, cranraisins, or non-food if necessary (only fill 3/4 of the way). Bunch up the middle of the bag and pin the clothes pin on it. Add a pipe cleaner and there you go! It's a butterfly! This is what we are doing for Valentine's treats at school!
We LOVE earth friendly Valentines! For Gavin's 1st grade class, instead of prepackaged cards, we sent recycled cards. We put the cards around cute little pots and filled them with forget me not, mini roses, and strawberry seeds! The teacher emailed me about how cool he thought it was!
I just made a crafty heart that will make a good coaster (the coaster part was accidental). I used red fabric that I got from Freecycle and batting that was leftover from a quilt. Since my batting was thin I sewed a piece of batting to each heart I had cut out of fabric, then put the hearts (right sides together) and seamed them together, leaving an opening to turn. Then I topstitched to close the hole, and stitched 2 or 3 times inside to make 3 or 4 rows of quilting stitching. I just lined up the last row of stitching with my presser foot to stitch in a heart shape. All reclaimed materials except the thread. My kids loved the 2 I had to do to get my method down.
Cori M AvaraSanchez
Pick up an old blender and some screen mesh from a second hand store. Use it to make paper pulp from shredded junk mail (white paper works best) by blending it with water and a little pomegranate juice. Spread the pulp out on the screen, us e sponges above and below the screen to squish the water out. Cover the pulp with a clean cloth, gently flip over the screen, and carefully massage the screen until the pulp comes free of it onto the cloth. Let it dry 12 hours and you have recycled, colored paper from which to make Valentines. Add wildflower seeds to the paper before pressing the water out, and you have seed cards you can cut into any shape you want.
I "surprise" my family with a Valentine's breakfast: frozen raspberries (pink) and frozen blueberries (purple) can be added to pancake batter (made into heart-shaped pancakes), yogurt/smoothies, etc. If you cut strawberry stems out in a V, then you can make heart-shaped slices.