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January 18, 2010

Red Hot Plastic Valentine’s Hug

 

shelves of Valentine's Day plastic crapValentine’s Day is almost here! We’ve only got about a month to finish our shopping, as Walgreen’s and other drug stores remind us, their aisles suddenly lined in red and pink, overflowing with hearts and bears and sweet treats. On this official day of love, how will Michael know how I feel if I don’t choose the right gift?

A card? So many to choose from, and not really special enough.

Valentine's Day greeting card display

A box of candy? It’s plastic-wrapped for our protection. But really, too common, right?

Valentine's Day candy boxes

Michael likes stuffed bears. Don’t worry. No actual bears were harmed in the production of these plush pals. 100% polyester, baby!

Valentine's Day plush bears

Balloons? What says “I love you” more sincerely than Mylar?

Valentine's Day Mylar heart balloons

Buy I’m thinking what this day deserves is something brighter. Plastic heart-shaped lights?

Valentine's Day heart-shaped lights

Blinking plastic drinking glasses?

Valentine's Day blinking glasses

Wait! There’s a more eco-friendly option. Plastic heart-shaped LED lights which help save energy as well as the planet.

Valentine's Day LED hearts

Lucky Lovers message dice might help me say things I’d be too shy to say in person. “Let’s wrestle… on the floor,” for example.

Valentine's Day lucky lovers dice

Tempting. But actually, I think I’m going for a Red Hot Hug. Maybe two even. Because one hug is never enough. Especially cheap plastic ones. Heck, I could afford to buy a whole case!

Valentine's Day red hot hug

Of course, Michael won’t know I really care unless I envelope his hugs in brand new Valentine’s Day wrapping paper and plastic ribbon.

Valentine's Day wrapping paper

Gee, I wonder what people did to show how they felt about each other before “plastics made it possible?”*

*”Plastics make it possible” is an official ad campaign of the American Chemistry Council. While I would love to help improve their Google page rank by linking to the “Plastics Make It Possible” web site, I’ll resist the urge. I’m too busy with Valentine’s Day preparations.

This post is my contribution to the APLS blog carnival, which will be held on the Retro Housewife Goes Green blog today.



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29 comments
Lewis
Lewis

I find the amount of cheap plastic stuff that proliferates at various holidays to be alarming. And even more alarming to me is that it seems to be increasing, not decreasing.

Mary Kay
Mary Kay

You're cracking me up. It's surprising that you didn't actually make any of this up!

Laura
Laura

I always get annoyed when stores are filled with junk for any holiday, especially months before the holiday actually occurs. And Valentines Day seems like a silly idea to me - why can't we treat those we love the same throughout the year? My husband knows I love him everyday without me buying him junk and going to a "romantic" dinner. And if I buy him candy spontaneously during the year he thinks it's great :-)

Pat Gorham
Pat Gorham

14 of the 19 Valentines Day gifts on greenlifesavor are recycled or handmade. The red heart platters are made by individuals who have disabilities. These individuals are terrific employees. Most of the gifts are very simple yet meaningful! Many are found in our COPY CAT COLLECTION. Go ahead, copy our idea! It doesn't take much to show your love. Love you, love your mate, love the earth! Happy Valentine's Day!

Caley
Caley

Hahahaha. This might be my favorite FPF post ever. =) As a craft editor, I would say if you want to celebrate Valentine's Day, MAKE SOMETHING, especially if you can use recycled, re-purposed materials. We have some great idea from craft bloggers at our website (FaveCrafts.com). Click on my name to see. =)

Aaron shaw phd
Aaron shaw phd

A very funny look at the plastics of the holidays!

Astrid
Astrid

In Mexico this used to be the ocasion to give a chocolate heart wrapped in aluminum paper. Not anymore. Since NAFTA we have gotten more and more Americanized, and now we are as full of plastic as the USA. All our holidays are plastic festivals, full of knick-knacks nobody needs. Sad part is we have millions in extreme poverty, literally starving.... and buying plastic garbage for loved ones. Personally, I have cut most decorations from our home and Valentines Day is non-existent. We love each other year round, we don't need another marketing fad to make us feel more loved. We show it every day. Aniversaries are enough oportunities to celebrate *sustainably*. It is really difficult to live without plastic. Beth, thanks for this blog. I will check out your tips and ideas and, if you allow me, will incorporate them into the blog we are starting for sustainability --studying a MSc in Sustainable Development and looking for ways to educate people in our country--- . Thanks, and keep it up!

Lori Buff
Lori Buff

Get out of the big box stores and the grocery stores when you're shopping for gifts for loved ones. You can find beautiful, meaningful gifts at so many small boutique shops or online on places like Etsy where so many of the products are handmade in a resurgence of cottage industry. It's time we start thinking really hard about how and where we spend our money. It's better for the environment, the economy and our souls. Thanks

Bellen
Bellen

When the kids were home I did things like making cards with red paper and paper doilies with special verses for them, they did the same. I used red placemats & napkins (cloth and suitable for many holidays), candles on the table to make it a little more special. We also did the heart shaped sandwiches and tomato soup (it's red), cupcakes with red frosting (lots of it if the kids helped), salad with heart shaped croutons. Once I got flowers, a couple of times I got candy. If there was a gift, and they were few and far between, it was something practical - garden gloves, a bulb planter and a bright red scarf I remember. Now, empty nesters, hubby and I wish each other a Happy Valentine's Day with hugs and kisses. No cards, flowers or candy. For us it's the day to day living that show us how much we love each other - 42 years worth. Since they live 1200 miles away, I make our 3 grandkids home made cards and envelopes geared to their interests. Pleases everyone and doesn't contribute to the plastic mess.

Tiffany
Tiffany

We always celebrate Valentine's Day as a day of Kindness. Well, that and the day our oldest made us parents... (-; But really, I think Valentine's Day was originally a day of kindness (I could just be making that up), so I think it is a good opportunity to involve the whole family in something wonderful, aimed at making others feel good. Two years ago, we spent a couple of hours at the animal shelter walking the dogs and playing with the cats. Last year we all did each other's chores. (-: This year I think we will contribute to each other's favorite charitable organizations.... And make the kid a birthday cake or something. (-; .-= Tiffany´s last blog ..Remembering... =-.

Alexandra
Alexandra

Sometimes I am really disgusted by our consumer society .... .-= Alexandra´s last blog ..Notes on Housing: Wellfleet Holds a Song Contest =-.

knutty knitter
knutty knitter

Last time I got something other than a home made card from the kids was 16 years ago. It was a small cuddly toy and a bunch of flowers from my soon to be husband. The toy is still around in the toybox, The flowers became compost and we haven't gone there since. All I can say about this heap of crap is ewww someone actually buys that stuff??? viv in nz

Madz
Madz

I don't buy into Valentines day, never have. I thinks its another excuse for retailers to convince of to buy stuff we don't really need. I feel the same aboutt Mother's and Father's day. Whatever happened to good on "time" spent with each other to show you're affection. That's my cents for today. M .-= Madz´s last blog ..Climate change: A people's movement =-.

Darris
Darris

Geez Laweeze! Just when you think you've seen enough plastic crap there's always another marketing opportunity right around the corner! I bake vegan treats for nearly every holiday. My guys love the treats and we often bake together and give our goodies as gifts. A bit of an aside, I posted photos (from Chris Jordon.com) and a paragraph about plastics in our environment on a trail post to one of my local beaches. The flyer has been there 3 weeks and hasn't been removed. Unfortunately it is housed in plastic to keep it dry. I plan to remove it this week and try something different to get the message out to people that might not otherwise give buying more plastic crap a second thought. Thanks for all you do to open our eyes Beth!

Ash Sud
Ash Sud

Great post Beth. One of my favorites. Highlights the ridiculous extremes people go to express their love for another while at the same time causing damage to the planet. I think the manufacturer's of these products should be boycotted for creating gifts that not only serve no real purpose, but also end up as garbage in landfills.

Rob
Rob

Oh phooey. Just make Michael a bunch of cookies. I would think PB Kisses would be great- And I must comment on the amount of plastic used in St. Valentines day- I don't have a problem with that would be re used again and again (The heart shaped LED "Candles" But really- so much plastic... Phooey .-= Rob´s last blog ..2nd Blog-iversary Giveaway No 2- A Solar powered work lamp =-.

Grace
Grace

Cheap junk. All of it. If my partner bought me any of that stuff for a gift it would be pretty obvious that he doesn't know me at all. Chances are I won't get anything though, hehe. .-= Grace´s last blog ..Puget Sound: Poisoned Waters =-.

Amber
Amber

My husband will be working at the Olympics here in Vancouver, so I'm sure my Valentine's Day will be pretty much just me and the kids and perhaps a little bit too much sugar. Romantic? Not so much. I find the amount of cheap plastic stuff that proliferates at various holidays to be alarming. And even more alarming to me is that it seems to be increasing, not decreasing. The number of houses in my neighbourhood that decorate for every occasion, for instance, is climbing, and so are the plastic decorations that they're buying. It makes me sad just to think about it. .-= Amber´s last blog ..Updated Canadian Maternity Leave Guide =-.

ruchi
ruchi

I think you should buy Michael one of everything. And then maybe make personalized little heart candies with your initials. And maybe have every little heart candy individually wrapped in plastic. So much more sanitary!! .-= ruchi´s last blog ..Wherein I Take Up A New Activity =-.

Lara S.
Lara S.

In Argentina, Valentine's Day celebrations are not that important, but still the shops are decorated in an attept to make you buy something for your partner. I know people who do, but fortunately not many. In june there is another occasion to buy gifts for the loved one, called "Día de los novios", which is basically the same. My bf and I are not big fans of either. It is alarming how US's festivities are forced upon other countries simply because they represent a chance of selling more stuff. Valentine's is an example, and so is Halloween. Though we don't celebrate it, the stores sell pumpkin-shaped candies and stuff like that. I like costume parties, but really, do they need to be for Halloween? It's crazy.

AlwaysLearning
AlwaysLearning

Our family tradition is to have a SPECIAL fondue dinner starting with cheese fondue, then the main dish fondue (seasoned broth for meats and veggies), ending with a sweet chocolate fondue. Our adult children to this day always ask if we are having the traditional fondue and sometimes join us if they can.

Kristy Medina
Kristy Medina

I prefer making something for my kids and husband. For the kids it is usually a handmade toy. One year I took my youngest child to a pottery place, and put his pink hand prints on a mug. Then I painted hearts in the empty spaces. We gave this to my husband for Valentine's Day. He loves it. If you want to give chocolate, some specialty stores let you make your own box of chocolates. You can bring you own tin and just add the hand picked chocolate to it. Thus not buying any plastic. The paper the chocolates might sit on can go in the compost bin. My husband knows better than to give picked flowers. If he buys me flowers that are in a pot. A ceramic or terra-cotta pot being preferred. Valentine's isn't a big celebration here. My mom will usually give my oldest Friendly's free ice cream cone coupons to hand out to his class. Thats our only tradition on that day. .-= Kristy Medina´s last blog ..16 t-shirts later... tarn rug =-.

monkeyjen
monkeyjen

Sarcasm:just another service that FPF offers. Condo blues: I would call them 'spermic' rather than phallic ;-)

Daisy
Daisy

Love it. It's a great reminder of how we all get caught up in all the hooplah and forget how it ultimately affects us and the environment. It's like rewarding a child for good behavior by giving him/her candy. It seems reasonable at the time... .-= Daisy´s last blog ..Fun =-.

Condo Blues
Condo Blues

Do those LED candles look a little um, phallic or is that just me? Fortunately, if you look around there are a lot of non plastic Valentine's Day decorating options if you're inclined to decorate. I went to a craft store last weekend and most of the items I saw were made out of metal, paper, or wood. .-= Condo Blues´s last blog ..Could Blitzkrieg Be Bissell’s Most Valuable Pet? =-.

abbie
abbie

Do people actually buy this stuff? I know I wouldn't waste my money on it, even before my eco-awareness. Doesn't it just add to clutter? Good thing my husband is shy in public places and wouldn't ever spend the time to pick one of these out. He can barely stand to pick out cards, which is fine with me. I'll take a real hug over a plastic one any day. .-= abbie´s last blog ..Local Strawberries for Valentine’s Day =-.

Eleanor
Eleanor

In my family, mostly due to laziness, we have a valentine's day tradition - we take down the christmas tree and put away the ornaments. Ok, there's probably too much christmas spirit in the house anyway (we carol up another round about mid-July, we miss it so). 12 days is inadequate. There's red in the decorations, too, so that's still seasonal :D So if Valentine's has you bugged (and with all that plastic, how could it not), why not celebrate a more worthy holiday all over again :D My farmer's market still has pumpkins, maybe we'll cook up a big Thanksgiving feast also. Mmmm... pie is always seasonal.

Linda Anderson
Linda Anderson

So much plastic crap!!! I thing Feb's Stupid Plastic Crap will definitely be red and plastic. The challenge will be to find something crappier than those you featured. And the bad thing is - I know I can find it. Great blog! .-= Linda Anderson´s last blog ..I ♥ A Green Valentine’s Day =-.

Carolyn
Carolyn

I love our V-day tradition - PIZZA and PAJAMAS We spend the evening snuggling and watching a good movie and ordering in - no dishes and no plastic! We feed the pizza box to our worms. :)

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