Happy Valentine’s Day – Remember Your Carbon Footprint!

Happy Valentine’s Day – Remember Your Carbon Footprint!

Today is Valentine’s Day.  If you are not the type that plans ahead, or if you have no interest in this holiday, then you can sit back and watch all the last-minute shoppers run out to the store for roses and chocolate, cards and last-minute dinner reservations.  And while this can be a holiday filled with mixed emotions and overcommercialism (for a refresher on WHY this day was set aside to honor St. Valentine, read this), I am going to bet that very few, if any, people you know had the reaction to Valentine’s Day as The New Republic writer Jeffrey Ball.

Ball wrote a piece for The New Republic, bemoaning Valentine’s Day because of the environmental costs of the day.  Primarily, the waste and carbon footprint of all those Valentine cards.

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.

Ball goes on to complain about all the card companies who now market their cards as being made out of recycled materials, mock the people who buy cards in the first place, runs an estimate of the carbon footprint of creating, purchasing, mailing and delivering a card, and then freely admits to his own hypocrisy because he went out and purchased Valentine cards for his daughter to hand out at school.

Needless to say, most people, even those who dislike the commercialism of Valentine’s Day, were not impressed with Ball’s argument.  Count me among them.

There is just something profoundly sad about people who are so hung up on their particular soapbox (in Ball’s case, he writes a “Resources” column for TNR and his bio lists him as “scholar-in-residence at Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance”) that they can take no joy out of something as simple as a greeting card.  Instead, they have to whine about the environmental impact and ask “why can’t we just do without” whatever they are whining about.  Instead of him writing that HE took a moral stand and has told everyone he knows not to send him any kind of greeting card at all, be it Valentine, Christmas, or birthday, he admits to wilting in the face of his 10 year old’s request for cards.  How nice of Ball to demand of the public compliance to his dreams of carbon neutrality, when he’s not willing to force his own beliefs on his family.

Also, don’t let him look in my garage.  You know what I have in there?  Stacks and stacks of cardstock.  Just think of all the trees I’ve been complicit in killing with my hobby of rubber stamping and card-making.  While I bought my son’s Valentine cards (he wanted Batman), my 10 year old daughter and I made her Valentine cards, like we do every year.

Valentine's Day card

So there, Jeffrey Ball.  I’m your worst nightmare.  Not only do I buy supplies and make my own cards, but – gasp! – I invite people over to my house to make cards, too!  I’m like a crack dealer – I lure people in with the fun of making cards and then I convince them to buy their own supplies and make more cards!  I can’t even tell you how huge my carbon footprint is on just this ONE bad habit alone!  (We won’t talk about my wood-burning fireplace insert – I don’t think Mr. Ball’s heart can take it.)

While I suspect that Ball doesn’t expect his dream of carbon neutral greetings to come true – and certainly, the U.S. Postal Service would not promote his position (especially seeing as they just raised the cost of a first-class stamp to 49 cents) – why can we never do anything fun anymore, like mailing a card to tell someone “Happy Valentine’s Day,” without some kind of liberal scold looking over our shoulder and complaining?  Besides, aren’t we conservatives always told that WE’RE the ones who lack a sense of fun?

And while I can’t send all our readers a card, I do wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day.  There, Jeffrey Ball.  I sent greetings without increasing this blog’s carbon footprint.  I hope you’re happy now.  (But I doubt it.)

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  • ALman says:

    I’ll do my part to not increase the carbon footprint and keep this brief. So,
    1) I’ll say a prayer for the VictoryGirls
    2) I’ll toast them with my favorite blend
    3) I’ll say what a wonderful “bouquet of roses” the VictoryGirls are!

  • Xavier says:

    LOL about card making. We too have a card maker in the house with all the paper, Cricket cutter, and embossing equipment, stamps, etc. We even have the “If you throw this card away I will kill you” stamp. I don’t understand how it all works but I’m certain we are responsible for more than our share of global warming, and damn proud of it.

    To get back on topic – if you really look at the facts, liberalism and radical environmentalists are causing far more damage and human suffering than any other group. I wish there were some way to hold them accountable for all the misery they have inflicted on the world.

  • Deanna Fisher says:

    At the very least, maybe they could go be miserable all by themselves and leave the rest of us alone!

  • Merle says:

    I sure hope that jerk doesn’t read this column – it might give him a heart attack to realize just how much carbon a mere handful of people can generate! 🙂


  • OldSoldier54 says:

    Re: Jeffrey Ball

    Meh. What a dingleberry. Typical Lefty Chicken Little, hair all on fire, mountain making out of ant hills bologna.

    On other fronts, Happy Valentines Day, Ladies! HH6 and I are going for sushi … mmmmmm … sushi … then we get to deal with the kitties jumping up in our laps wanting to smell our breath! 😉

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