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Ban the Box: Exploring Self-Expression for Valentines Day

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As long as I have been a student (and especially as a special needs teacher) I noticed what a popularity contest this whole classroom valentines exchange has turned out to be.
Kids feel left out and it lowers their self-esteem and self-worth.

Contribute towards a better tomorrow – Ban the Box of Valentines Day cards at your house, school and community centers.

The Project: I took a portrait of every student in my class. We will print one portrait per student in class and glue it down on a piece of 80% post-consumer recycled poster board. On Valentines Day, all the students and teachers in class will exchange compliments.
Each compliment will be recorded on the poster board. Each person will go home with a reminder of how loved and appreciated they are by their peers and mentors.
Cost: 29cents per person — you must collect your own poster board from school recycling bins all year long in preparation, or splurge on a 30pack of paper ($8.99)

Average cost of a box of valentines: $5
Average # of students in a class: 24
Greeting cards exchanged: 180million
Paper and packaging waste: weight of 4,170 hybrid cars
All that waste generate CO2 emissions that are equivalent to driving around the world 3, 993 times!

Tips from the EPA for Valentines Day:

Promote and Instill Self-Love + Positive Body Image: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/01/21/dove_s_new_selfie_short_premieres_at_sundance_makes_us_think_about_moms.html

The Impact of Valentine’s Day on the Environment: https://blog.dashburst.com/infographic/valentines-day-environmental-impact/

Zero Waste Valentines Ideas:

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