Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Boxes of Chocolates, Roses, and Landfill Waste

Credits to google

Valentines: a day of giving and receiving gifts from loved ones, filled with red rose bouquets, boxes of chocolates, giant teddy bears, and gold necklaces. But what happens when people over purchase and buy one too many gifts? Consumerism is prevalent in everyday lives, but during the holiday seasons it is an even bigger deal. 

One of the most popular types of Valentine’s gifts are flowers. Whether receiving a bouquet of roses or mixed flowers, they are often seen during this holiday season. Junior Amaka Gbulie feels that the meaning of Valentine’s and its purpose has changed dramatically over the years. 

“It was very common when Valentine’s day was first created, I think it was really common for people to give other people a single rose like one rose to symbolize how much they love them. And then obviously, it’s like some people can’t just do one thing,” said Gbulie. “So they have to make it bigger and bigger. So that’s why we have bouquets of flowers rather than just one single flower. And it’s not really the symbolism of it anymore, that matters. It’s just the amount that you can provide to somebody else, in my opinion.”

Valentine’s is known as a day of love, and many couples are seen spending this festive day together. But what happens to those who aren’t in a relationship and want to feel included in this celebration? Gbulie believes that some holidays are meant for participation and following the trend, versus being genuine, happy, and true to oneself.

“When it comes to Valentine’s Day, you see a lot of people that are kind of forcing themselves to couple up, if that makes sense because nobody really wants to feel left out of the holiday or the spirit or whatever. When it comes to, first you’re kind of forcing yourself to be in a relationship but not only that, but you’re forcing yourself to provide that person that you’re in a relationship with all of these things. It seems like you’re partaking in the holiday just like everybody else is. I just think that there’s been an increase over the years, especially comparing previous centuries to ours about how much people want to buy and how much people want to give their partners during this time,” said Gbulie.

The holiday seasons call for the purchasing of new house decorations, clothing, and even gifts. At the end of each season when it’s time to get ready for the next, those items end up in the storage, attic, or even the trash. Junior Gabrielle Boakye wants the wasting of items to come to an end and for individuals to be mindful of their spending.

“I feel like they shouldn’t be compulsively shopping. Maybe they should plan it out. And make sure they have use to items they’re gonna use and if they were to put up the items, they should probably donate it or they should recycle it, put it to good use,” said Boakye.

There are many seasons that people participate in consumerism. Sometimes they do not even realize that this is happening and how consumerism affects others and the environment. Junior Danielle Boakye wants others to realize what consumerism is doing to the environment.

“I don’t know if it’s just our generation, but, I feel like it’s the need to constantly follow the trends and all the new trends. we’re constantly coming up with new things, or purchasing new things, getting the latest things and that’s just adding more to it,” said Boakye.

The origin of Valentine’s is never really discussed and the thing that this day is known for the most is being a day of gifts, flowers, jewelry, and love. Teacher Thomas White doesn’t enjoy the idea of Valentine’s being known by this due to the effects it has on people.

“Valentine’s day has been hijacked to where it was once a Catholic holiday to celebrate St. Valentine’s and has now been hijacked by Hallmark in order to help sell $15 greeting cards just to say ‘I love you’ to those in your circle,” said White. “For the most part, most of these items that are being given it’s always the thought that counts but they don’t last long and the cards end up in the trash and basically are disposable. So while you may get a hit of dopamine from receiving a gift from a loved one, it’s short lived, if you’re basing your relationship on material goods, it’s probably not that strong of a relationship to begin with.”

Valentines is a day full of gifts and sometimes those gifts are appreciated, but not kept. The holiday seasons are full of product waste which is supposed to represent love.

About the Contributor
Amber Abrego
Amber Abrego, ENN Staff