Gauchos Go Green hosted a sustainable Valentine’s Day crafts session on Saturday, Feb. 10, at Sea Lookout Park. 

Courtesy of Gauchos Go Green

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., participants created cards using recycled arts and crafts supplies sourced from the Art From Scrap Creative ReUse Store, a thrift store for art supplies located in downtown Santa Barbara. Around 20 attendees selected from a variety of materials including cards, markers, beads and doilies.

Fourth-year political science major, Gauchos Go Green events chair and lead organizer of the event Amanda Bennett said her main goal was to reuse recycled materials while celebrating the holiday.

“There’s a lot of waste with Valentine’s Day and a lot of plastic pollution,” Bennett said. “Valentines on sale that ultimately never get sold just get dumped, so I wanted to get materials from thrift stores that have already been recycled once and recycle them again.” 

The Valentine’s maker’s market aligns with the organization’s broader goals to promote environmental consciousness through a collaborative effort.

“We do a lot of educational events, like on how to compost or reduce your energy output … to raise awareness on how to live sustainability or to promote it, in general,” Bennett said.

Formerly known as Greeks Go Green, Gauchos Go Green regularly hosts local activities and education programs on sustainability, as well as coordinates with the National Panhellenic Conference and Interfraternity Council to help establish Greek chapter houses as “green certified.” This is a distinguishment given by the Santa Barbara County Green Business Program as a part of the wider California Green Business Network upon chapters meeting sustainability standards, which mandate energy efficiency and water conservation standards within Greek chapter houses.

A version of this article appeared on p. 5 of the Feb. 15, 2024, print edition of the Daily Nexus.