With Valentine’s day only one week away, many (who have not already made a conscious decision to boycott the so called “celebration of love“) will be spending the next few days rushing around stores trying to find that perfect present, which they hope will convey to that special someone how strongly they care for them.
Unfortunately, with paper mache hearts, oversized stuffed teddy bears and fluffy pink handcuffs trending in most window displays, the vast majority of us will likely end up purchasing or receiving a gift that will never be used and whose end destination will presumably be the back of the closet.
Take the ever-popular purchase of roses. Whether you tend to opt for the single solitary red rose or a thickset bouquet, it is safe to say that even the most horticultural recipient will be hard pushed to see its life expectancy extend further than about two weeks. Still, despite this, according to the Synovate eNation National Online Research (2012), the estimated number of roses produced for Valentine’s Day in 2012 was 224 million. Valentine’s Day cards, which by the end of February have probably ended up in the bin, are also a huge purchase, with 141 million Valentine’s Day cards being exchanged worldwide, according to Hallmark.
The debate on whether Valentine’s day is about dedication of love or more about capitalistic ideals rages every year. This article isn’t here to say whether you should or shouldn’t commemorate Cupid’s day, but instead aims to look at ways in which you can cut down on your environmental impact whilst still partaking in the aura of elation and jubilation of Valentine’s Day.
So this year, why not say “I love you” with eco-friendly vegan condoms from Nigel’s Eco Store? No? How about a solar powered vibrator? Or if you’re looking for something a little kinkier, what about some S&M with a recycled rubber whip handcrafted from recycled car and truck tire parts? These are just a few of the green gifts being offered by various eco-conscious companies, such as TOY – Thinking of you, which aim to offer unwavering personal pleasure without the added planetary pain.
Ok, so your carbon footprint is probably the last thing on your mind when you’re getting down and dirty but despite being a wholly natural thing in itself, some aspects of sex can be less than sustainable.
Sex toys, for example, contain a group of chemical compounds called phthalates; a controversial PVC softener that is linked to infertility, hormone disruptions and birth defects.
Since 1999 these phthalates have been restricted in the European Union for use in children’s toys, with amounts greater than 0.1% being illegal. However, due to less rigorous regulation, you’ll find phtalates in most sex toys on the market.
Fortunately many companies, such as Earth Erotics, Good Clean Love, and Ethical Sex Toys have sought to address these issues, offering sustainable sex toys, which are safe for our bodies and the environment.
Founder of Goodcleanlove.com, Wendy Strgar, explains:
“We believe that love products and petrochemicals don’t mix. Good Clean Love is dedicated to making love sustainable and we are continuously working to educate women, physicians and retail stores about the importance of clean and healthy ingredients in love products.”
Going green also appears to be a bonus when it comes to attracting a mate, as an online poll of more than 1,000 men and women aged 18 or older, in January 2012, revealed more than three-quarters of Americans find eco-minded behaviours an attractive quality in a mate. According to The Timberland Eco-Survey, 56% of women are more likely to be turned off by anti-environmental behaviour, while 47% of males would question whether to date someone with anti-environmental behaviour.
And if you are single and looking for that eco-conscious soul mate, why not try one of the various eco-friendly dating and networking websites such as Ecodater. Packed full of organic farmers, environmentalists, outdoor enthusiasts and eco-travelers, just to name a few, the site aims to match like minded individuals and is free to join.
So this year why not go green with your love and have yourself a happy sustainable Valentines Day.