The Impact of Valentine’s Day on the Environment

No matter how Valentine’s Day makes you feel, whether you get warm and fuzzy inside or experience bouts of nausea, one thing is sure about the highly celebrated, somewhat dreaded holiday: it’s pretty bad for the environment.

Just how bad V-day is for the environment requires us to take a good, hard look at the numbers: more than 124 million people in the United States celebrate Valentine’s Day. Looking at paper gifts alone, those millions of people buy 36 million heart-shaped boxes and 180 million greeting cards. All of that adds up to an exceptionally large amount of waste and that does not even include the 198 million roses purchased, or any of the wine, champagne, chocolates, and any other food and drinks consumed.

Sadly, Valentine’s Day’s recorded waste has serious, negative impacts on the environment and causes more damage to planet Earth than you would think. All of the products purchased and consumed by lovers, spouses, crushes, and whomever else, causes more carbon dioxide emissions than driving around the entire world almost 4,000 times. Furthermore, all of the leftover paper and packaging from V-day products weighs more than 4,170 hybrid cars.

However, there are some great ways to counter the appallingly negative environmental effects of Valentine’s Day. You can try hand-made or recycled gifts, cards using recycled paper or paperless cards, organic and fair trade goods, or sustainably produced items. So while it seems that there is no love for the environment on the holiday of love, there is still some hope out there for those hopeless environmentalists.

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