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.