Environment Holidays Illustrations Valentine's Day

Try giving the Earth some love this Valentine’s Day

Dana Kim/YJI

Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. – When I was young, I always viewed Valentine’s Day as a wonderful holiday that celebrated love and affection towards the whole world.

But now, all Valentine’s Day seems to exemplify is a lack of love for the Earth itself. 

Each year, there only seems to be more pressure to buy more items for this holiday. While there once was just candy, today the toys, stuffed animals and large packs of gifts seem to stuff the walls of stores all across the country at an astronomically high price.

Gifts now do not seem to have sentimental meaning at all – they only display increasing consumerism.

Companies feel the need to sell endless Valentine’s Day outfits (that can be worn once a year) or large packs of candy that may never be eaten and just thrown away by the end of the year. Jewelry companies take advantage of these opportunities to create jewelry to sell to lovers— who may last, but we cannot tell.

What happens after the holiday passes? What will remain of the short-lived gifts that a person may not treasure forever? 

And to make the whole situation even worse, all of these products might be waste that we can’t wipe from this Earth. With each 40-pack bag of candy produced, excess amounts of plastic we can’t get rid of will linger on our slowly heating planet.

The stuffed bears you once loved become pieces of ash burned in a fiery incinerator or rotting at the bottom of an old landfill. A treasured ring might be sitting there, too.

And the packs of ripped candy bags will be spread across the whole area. 

I still think Valentine’s Day, at its heart, symbolizes love as a whole.

But many types of love are embraced on the holiday. You may celebrate your friend or a close relative, or maybe embrace loving yourself in a world driven by your lack of personal choice.

So maybe try giving back and loving the Earth as you do other people on this day. 

Our Earth remains our only home – our mother – so let’s give it all the love we’ve got. 

Dana Kim is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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