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For Valentine's Day think Intangible

Broken Hearts: How Valentine’s Day causes global warming

View more presentations from Raffi Krikorian.

On Valentine’s day millions are spent on cards and candies. Last year Twitter engineer Raffi Krikorian gave an Ignite talk on where all of these goods (cards, chocolate, jewelry) come from and this day’s impact on the Earth. It has a simple message: Give something intangible instead of a gift.

The video didn’t turn out, but his slides stand-alone. His favorite is the story of the Teddy Bear:

My two favorite slides tell the story of a teddy bear (as well as its WattzOn energy consumption label representing it’s embodied energy). The fibers in the teddy bear are probably made from a synthetic material that comes from oil. That oil comes, probably, is drilled out of the Middle East. It needs to be shipped in barrels over to China where its spun into those synthetic fibers. Those fibers are made into fabric, assembled, and stuffed. That’s just one bear. Then, just imagine, a huge container of those bears being loaded up and shipped – probably across the Pacific – in a massive boat to a port on the west coast of the United Statues. Those containers are unloaded, and then put on trucks and trains to be delivered all over the United States. And finally, those bears finally make it to a shelf to be picked up, or arrive at a warehouse so it can be Fedex-ed to you.

  • Roger Weeks

    I bought my wife flowers that are grown in California. Sure, there’s a greenhouse involved, and transportation to the local store, but all those people are involved in our local economy.

    They’ll get put in the yard waste and composted and used to grow something else later on.

    My daughter bought me a little stuffed monkey, which is filled with recycled PET fibers.

    We went to our local wine bar (The Grapevine in Willow Glen) and had their California Red wine flight and a California cheese tasting.

    Buy local! :)

  • Michael R. Bernstein

    Brady, even if the video didn’t turn out, do you have audio? Slideshare lets you add a synchronized audio track to a presentation to create a ‘slidecast’.