Classic Valentine’s Day plans may require some adjustments due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While getting COVID creative, show the planet and local businesses some love, too, this February 14. Valentine’s cards with glitter, bouquets with plastic ornaments, and boxes of candy all shiny with metallic foil can quickly turn it into another high-waste holiday. These tips, tricks, and hacks from the crew at Emmet County Recycling help keep it green while creating memorable experiences.
Several local florists compost scraps from their flowers and greenery with the Emmet County food scraps composting program: buy from Monarch Floral or Sky’s the Limit in Petoskey, or A.R. Pontius in Harbor Springs and thank them for composting. They will also be happy to work with a customer’s reused vase. Skip the plastic add-ons and, when it is spent, the bouquet can be composted at home or at the Pleasantview Road Drop-off Center.
Choose cards by local artists at Northgoods or Somebody’s Gallery. Cards that are free of glitter and metallic foils can be recycled. If the card is a particular hit, reuse it by framing it for some petite wall art. A unique and very special local option is a Fairy Gram crafted by Kim Cerrudo of Petoskey. They are available via Three Pines Studio in Cross Village.
Is candy a must? Boxes embellished with metallic foils are not recyclable. Choose candies from the case at a Kilwin’s shop, Howse’s Fudge in Harbor, or Heilman’s Fort Fudge Shop, Mackinaw City, then “wrap” them in a reusable jar or tin.
When ordering take out for Valentine’s dinner, remember to decline the disposable cutlery and napkins: in addition to reducing waste, silverware and cloth napkins really dress up the presentation of your meal.
Of course, pizza sports Valentine’s Day’s signature color and empty pizza boxes are recyclable. Piper’s Pizza in Harbor and Beard’s Brewery in Petoskey offer some very special pies. For those who will work on the holiday, pizza would be great paired with Blissfest’s Tuesdays-at-8-EST online concert on the 16th featuring David Jacobs-Strain.
Last but definitely not least, giving local experiences is both green and unforgettable:
- The escape rooms at Know Way Out in Petoskey make players the heroes “saving the day” in a story set in another time and place. Work together to find hidden clues and solve puzzles to complete the mysterious mission and beat the clock.
- How about fat-tire biking or snowshoeing at the Tanton Family Working Forest Reserve or Boyne Highlands, or along the North Western State Trail? Another snowy alternative: sledding at Petoskey’s Winter Sports Park or Pond Hill Farm.
- A bookworm might delight in simply reading together over breakfast in bed with a treat from Tillie’s Taffel–new in Petoskey–Crooked Tree Breadworks, The Dutch Oven, or one of the Johan’s locations.
In northern Michigan the green Valentine’s Day possibilities are endless!
Happy Valentine’s Day from the crew at Emmet County Recycling.