Thursday, February 14, 2008

I wish you love

I got a dozen roses for Valentine’s Day. From a friend, not a romantic partner. Okay, from a friend who used to be a romantic partner, before he turned into a cheating, lying, otherwise unacceptable choice, but before I could dump him he got really sick and lost his sight and needed someone to help him with medications and errands . . . and now gleefully announces that he has reaped the benefits of my guilt-driven-fundamentalist upbringing. Snowbird rescues animals, but for me it has always been people. A counselor friend claims this is connected to my childhood, calls it "atonement" and says I should get over it. She believes the friend who gave me roses is just another needless penance, which seems a bit cold to me. But I digress.

I got a dozen roses for Valentine’s Day. I love flowers, more than most people, but all I can think about is how much carbon was poofed into the atmosphere to fly them here from who knows where. Because these flowers most certainly were not grown within any reasonable distance from my home, where the windchill is way below zero. I also got very tasty chocolates from my sister, but I know they are as bad an environmental choice as flowers for my part of the world, because chocolate (and wine, and coffee) also require long-distance import and the accompanying waste of petroleum. Just as bad, because there is a lot of money (and greed) involved, these are also products that are often tied to the exploitation the workers and the land. Ditto for jewelry, brought to the surface by people who too-often die digging into mines so that my fingers and ears can sparkle. So I wonder, what is the new romantic gesture? Can green living be romantic?

4 comments:

jennifer said...

Well, you could just be like me, and anytime you buy or receive flowers you could at the same time enjoy their beauty as well stress out about how much money they must have been. Therefore the stress about the money (imagining how you would have otherwise spent it) would pretty much cancel out all of the appreciation for them. It's how I feel about many gifts like that. It's a very environmental approach, really. No fuel, no exploited workers. I'll just take the cash in the bank, thank you very much. As you can see, I'm not exactly the person Bush had in mind when he decided to "stimulate" the economy.

Happy Valentines Day.

gpc said...

No question, you are better at environmental action and better at being frugal than I am, jennifer! I always thought flowers were a worthwhile expense because they brought me so much pleasure, but I want to replace as many eco-unfriendly pleasures as I can with new traditions. Maybe thinking about the money I save will help take the sting out of seeing my empty vases!

Shama-Lama Mama said...

Yes, green living CAN be romantic! Here is a site for fair trade products and especially CHOCOLATE!

http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/fairtrade/cocoa/

Although, I guess you are still dealing with the carbon footprint of sending it overseas.

Perhaps buying things made locally? Crafts! Not Flowers!

gpc said...

Yeah, that carbon footprint is a real downer. But what a great website. I do buy fair trade chocolates and coffee as much as possible, but my local selection is often limited. I will have to browse the site and see what they have for me to indulge in. Thanks! Local crafts for your sweetie? LOL! You west coasters are in a way more interesting craft region than I am here in Detroit - I can't imagine giving anyone the crafts I see around here!