Holiday periods are often a time of shopping and mayhem, and more often than not our usual concerns take a back seat.
Valentines day is a fun day, but has been causing significant damage to the Earth.
Make a statement this year, and have yourself a happy & sustainable Valentines Day.
Where did Valentines Day come from?
I suppose we should start at the beginning.
Valentines Day is a long-standing tradition, traced back to the year 496 and named after a man from the era of Emperor Claudius 2nd, St. Valentine.
As the story goes – during the reign of Emperor Claudius the 2nd, marriage had been forbidden. Claudius was concerned that marriage would create weaker men who would no longer be fit (or as useful) in battle.
St. Valentine, the priest and physician, took it upon himself to secretly marry couples and for this he was stoned and killed. Due to his fight and his death for the marriage of others, Valentine was named the Patron Saint of love and marriage.
Since then, the tradition has continued into 2019, and has developed into a consumerist holiday much like the rest of them. In 2017, Australians spent over $23 million in the one day. One day.
This isn’t to say we shouldn’t celebrate, or take the time set aside to appreciate our loved ones.
Perhaps it’s just time to re-evaluate and think a little more carefully how.
The Valentines Day Card – What is the Cost?
While cards may be the most obvious of choices, I feel the impact it has on the environment is worth an article.
Valentines day is the second largest card sending day of the year, with approximately 1 billion cards being sent each year.
The real kicker of this amount of cards is where they come from. It sounds like a lot because it is – 94% of imported Valentines Day cards come from the parts of the world with the highest rates of deforestation.
So how do you appease your expectant loved one?
You could make a card from recycled goods.
This is perfect if you have seemingly random craft supplies or cardboard or paper goods laying around. It looks and feels a lot more heartfelt than a cheesy phrase sold at a petrol station.
If you must buy a card – double check that it comes from a sustainable source.
Not everyone is crafty, and not everyone can make a card that will actually last long enough to read.
When card shopping, always make sure you check the back to see if it is made out of recycled paper.
Small changes to the way you shop and gift people can make more of an impact than you might think.
It’s common to hear things such as ‘I’m just one person – what will buying a different type of card do to help?’.
Think if every card out of that 1 billion were made from recycled paper from sustainable sources.
Not only would the environment feel the positive impact, but it would also send a very loud message to the companies providing the products that are damaging the Earth.
Make a statement of love this Valentines Day.