Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Eco Valentine's Day, (send an email if you must)

New Republic Politics/Culture magazine/Jeffrey Ball, 12/12/14.  "Resources:  Valentine's Day is an environmental travesty.  The carbon cost of greeting cards."
Save a tree on NIMBIES,
... buy others a card
Surprise NIMBIES, we won't be sending you a card
....  "According to the industry’s trade group, some 145 million Valentine’s cards are sold in the U.S. every year. Those cards are ridiculous not just because of the sappy sayings on their covers. They’re ridiculous because, on a planet of seven billion people, it’s nuts to buy a piece of card stock, place it into a paper envelope, and give it to someone who (I love you, honey) will smile at it, stuff it in a sock drawer, and, almost certainly, never glance at it again. It’s even crazier to buy said piece of card stock, drive it to the post office, and have the U.S. mail truck it to an airport and then fly it to its destination."

....   Sure, you could criticize on environmental grounds all manner of small pleasures, such as eating burgers, or driving gasoline-powered cars, or drinking frostily refrigerated beer (all habits in which I happily engage). Yet sending a greeting card is worse as an example of personal carelessness, because its greener alternative is so painless and, indeed, so much more convenient. I don’t like veggie burgers, I can’t afford a Tesla, and I hate warm beer. But forsaking a paper greeting card for an emailed Valentine? I’m pretty sure Ias well as my family and youcould live with that.

....  Americans buy some 6.5 billion greeting cards each year, down slightly from the 7 billion they bought a decade ago, according to the Greeting Card Association. Individual cards average $2 to $4 a pop, but many cards are sold in boxed sets, so, in total, the industry racks up about $7 billion in annual sales. Valentine’s Day is the nation’s second biggest card-selling holiday, behind Christmas, for which 1.6 million cards are sold. According to the trade group, seven of ten card buyers who were polled called greeting cards “absolutely” or “almost” essential to them. Emailed greeting cards haven’t taken any significant bite out of the paper-card market, the association says, because most consumers aren’t willing to pay for a digital greeting."  Read more.

Note graphics: hearts from Sms111 org (image, no website); tree from Kannada of Valentines Day Greetings (image, no website).

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

if valentine's day is an environmental travesty, so are birthdays, mother's day, father's day, christmas, and all other holidays in which presents and cards are purchased/wrapped/sent and often returned to stores. and so are magazines,junk mail, credit card solicitations, etc. but there are worse eco-offenders. it takes 16 gallons of water to grow a pound of potatoes and 2500 gallons of water to raise one pound of beef. sure, hallmark holidays are silly in times of eco-fragility but what's on your plate is far more detrimental.

Anonymous said...


Who pooped in your corn flakes this am? Shouldn't you be over on Riptide?

Chris Porter, the environmental friendly romantic, said...

You can buy valentine's made of recycled paper and my husband always makes it an adventure to find one for me. As far as stuffing them in a sock drawer and never looking at them again, then anonymie, you are not a romantic. I have every valentine my husband has sent me in the last twenty-four years and I still look at them many times during the year.