Photo credit: Terracycle
Valentine's Day is a wonderful excuse for loving partners, friends, parents, kids and teachers to show they care. And like jelly to peanut butter, candy is an integral part of that. But afterwords, there's a little problem: What do you do with all that packaging the Valentine's candy came in? Most of it is at this point difficult to recycle.
I know you here reading Treehugger would like to take a different route than tossing your Valentine's Day candy wrappers in the trash, while still getting to take part in the fun of giving and receiving candy. I have two suggestions for you.
We've got all you need know about how to make an, um, sweet DIY upcycled chocolate wrapper wallet. All you need is a bit of glue, some scissors, your chocolate bar wrappers, a ruler, and you've got what it takes to make a one of a kind gift.
If you're not feeling so crafty, but still want to play a part in diverting waste from the landfill, Mars (you know, the company that makes candies like M&Ms;, Snickers, Milky Way, Starburst and Skittles?) has partnered with us at TerraCycle on the Candy Wrapper Brigade. It goes like this:
You collect the wrappers, send them to us postage paid, then Mars & TerraCycle pays two cents per piece to the charity of your choice. A school or an environmental organization, for example. It's up to you where you spread the Valentine's love.
What happens to those candy wrappers, you ask?
Good question. If we can directly reuse them, they're upcycled into things like kites, tote bags, and backpacks. If a wrapper you send us isn't a useable for these, it can still be put to use in industrial products, like floor tiles and plastic lumber (you know, the decking material that doesn't fade or splinter like tree based wood can?)
Who'd have thought that something as simple as a candy wrapper could be such a beneficial thing, for schools, charities, and the environment?
To learn more about and sign up for the Candy Wrapper or any of our Brigades, visit http://www.terracycle.net/brigades/3-Candy-Wrapper-Brigade-
Read more about Valentine's Day:
Alicia Silverstone's Tips for a Green Valentine's Day and More
Valentine's Day Gift Guide 2011: Sweet on Earth (Slideshow)
Should You Buy Flowers for Valentine's Day?